Looking to start a business in Parkland County? Whether you’re starting a home-based business, cottage industry, or commercial or industrial business, you will likely need a development permit.

To improve efficiency and support the growth of local businesses, businesses in Parkland County do not require a business license in the County. Instead, applicants are required, in most cases, to submit a development permit application before opening a business.

Rural businesses

Starting a home-based business

If you would like to start a home-based business, there are three different classifications your business may fall under, as per our Land Use Bylaw which governs development in the County. View the bylaw for further information about each classification.

Levels of Home-Based Business

TypeDescriptionExample

Level 1: No development permit approval needed

  • Business activities located indoors;

  • No client visits;

  • No storage of products or materials;

  • No commercial vehicle;

  • No signage; and,

  • No employees

  • Accounting Home Office

  •  Accounting Home Office

Level 2: Development permit approval required

  • No outdoor storage of products or materials;

  • Minimal on-site client visits;

  • Minimal signage;

  • Minimal commercial vehicle parking; and,

  • No employees.

  • Snow removal company: Parking one truck with trailer (carrying a skid steer)

  • Home Hair Salon: No employees, 4-5 clients per day.

  • Snow removal company: Parking one truck with trailer (carrying a skid steer)

  • Home Hair Salon: No employees, 4-5 clients per day.

Level 3: Development permit approval required

  • Not located in or within 150m of a Multi-Parcel Residential Subdivision;

  • May include outdoor storage of products and materials;

  • May include on-site client visits;

  • Minimal signage;

  • Commercial vehicle parking; and,

  • Maximum 4 employees.

  • Firewood Sales: Storage of lumber, 3 employees, on-site and off-site sales/deliveries.

  •  Firewood Sales: Storage of lumber, 3 employees, on-site and off-site sales/deliveries.

 

Starting a Cottage Industry

Parkland County supports a range of businesses, especially those that support or enhance existing agricultural activities within the county. Cottage Industry business include a range of small-scale rural businesses that highlight or support agricultural activities on the parcel. For example, this may include a gift shop, indoor café, U-pick farm, butcher shop, photography studio, or small microbrewery or winery.

If you would like to start a Cottage Industry business, you will need a Commercial/Industrial development permit.

Starting a business in an existing building with no changes to the building

If you would like to start a business in an existing building, with no changes to the building or renovations, you will need a Change of Use development permit. Note: Not all buildings may be constructed to the appropriate standard for the scope of your proposed business activities. It is best to confirm that no further building or trade permits are required.

Starting a business in an existing building with alterations to the building

If you would like to start a business with changes to the building (renovations/alterations), you will need a Commercial/Industrial development permit and various building and trade permits.

Constructing a new building for commercial/industrial business

If you would like to construct a new building for commercial/industrial business, you will need a Commercial/Industrial development permit and various building and trade permits.

Off-site levies for subdivision

You may also need to provide off-site levies when applying for subdivision (outside of your Commercial/Industrial development permit application). Off-site levies are charges that help pay for roads and utilities that are outside (off-site) of a development or subdivision. In Parkland County, off-site levies apply to parts of the land in and adjacent to:

  • Acheson Business Park area

  • Fifth Meridian Business Park area

  • Big Lake residential area, north of Highway 16

  • County residential areas

Commercial/industrial applications may include those for:

  • Cannabis cultivation or processing

  • Change of use (ex. moving a welding company to a building previously used for retail sales).

  • Industrial commercial development

  • Natural resource extraction

Resources, reports and market research

Whether you are a home-based entrepreneur or a long-time local business, we have many resources, partners and reports that can help your venture be successful.

Explore more business-based resources, including:

  • Our Land Use Bylaw

  • Business Attraction Program

  • Grants and funding

  • Interactive maps

  • Regional partners

  • Reports, studies and plans

Market research

Discover in-depth market research conducted for our area, including:

  • Community Profile

  • Economic advantages

  • Logistics advantages

  • Target pipeline advantages

  • Target sector advantages

  • Workforce advantages

Book a pre-application meeting

If you are planning on developing a major project such as a large -scale commercial or industrial development, or relocating your business to Parkland County, book a pre-application meeting with Parkland County staff by emailing hello@parklandcounty.com. The pre-application meeting request must include the meeting agenda (including any specific questions you may have), the proposed parcel, and a description of your proposed business (include any tentative drawings, if applicable). At this meeting, you can learn more about land use, development regulations and permitting requirements.