Business Startup Checklist

The following guide outlines the basic steps and municipal permits and licenses that may be required when starting a new business. St. Albert Business and Tourism Development is here to assist you with the startup process and answer any questions you may have along the way. We have also included other agencies and websites which may be of assistance.

Business Start-Up Checklist

1. Select a Name and Legal Structure

You may register or search for a business name at your local registry office.
AMA - or 780-418-8948
Drayden Insurance - or 780-459-7700

2. Write a Business Plan

If you haven't already, prepare at least a preliminary business plan. There are many resources available to assist you with this, such as the Northern Alberta Business Incubator (NABI) and St. Albert Business & Tourism Development at 780-459-1631.

To also assist you with your Business Planning, please check with the Business Link, a joint Government of Canada and Alberta initiative. The site also contains a Guide for the New Alberta Businesses document.

3. Open the Company Bank Account

Select a bank and open the company bank account. A list of banking institutions in St. Albert is available on the City's directory.

4. Lease Office, Warehouse or Retail Space (if not home-based)

Depending on your type of business (retail, office or warehouse), arrange for office space to be leased. Contacting a commercial realtor in your area can be helpful. Also, make sure to arrange for utilities and office furniture. For a complete listing of available land for development, contact St. Albert Economic Development at 780-459-1631.

A list of realtors in St. Albert is available on the City's directory.

In addition to the Real Estate listing under the Business Directory, you may also wish to contact members included in the Edmonton Real Estate Board.

Other key real estate firms active in St. Albert include:

5. Obtain Licenses and Permits

In St. Albert, an annual business license is required for local and non-resident businesses. Business Licensing is located in St. Albert Place at 5 St. Anne Street. You may apply for a licence by filling out the Business Licence application and submitting it online, by fax to 780-459-1733 or in person at St. Albert Place.


An approved development permit application is required prior to starting the construction of a new project or prior to making changes to existing space to accommodate a new type of use. There is a fee associated with the application, due at the time of submission. Two sets of floor plans, elevation drawings and site plans are usually required, as well as a completed development permit application. When proposing to operate a home-based business, a Home Occupation Questionnaire must also be completed.

Most home-based businesses require a development permit and business license to operate in a residential district. The Land Use Bylaw classifies home-based businesses as either "Home Occupations" or "Home Offices." Should a business be identified as a "Home Office" through information provided on the Home Occupation Questionnaire, then a Development Permit will not be required.

Once a Development Permit is issued, the approved plans are forwarded to Engineering Services for an Occupancy/Building permit. An application for a Business License must be submitted to Business Licensing.

For more information on permits, please contact Planning and Development on the 2nd floor at St. Albert Place at 5 St. Anne Street. Phone: 780-459-1642.


Most projects require a Building Permit. Permits are not required for:

  • Maintenance and repairs that do not affect electrical or mechanical work.
  • Painting, decorating or cabinet work.
  • Fences, retaining walls (less than 1 metre), sidewalks or planters.
  • Accessory buildings less than 10 sq. metres in size.

Commercial and light industrial projects require three sets of plans, usually provided at the development permit stage. Plans must be sealed and signed by an Architect or Structural Engineer licensed to practice in Alberta.

Building Inspections are required for:

  • Basement walls prior to backfill
  • Framing and insulation prior to drywall installation
  • Plumbing and gas installations and completion prior to occupancy

Occupancy Permits are required for:

  • All new commercial, industrial and institutional projects.
  • All additions to commercial, industrial and institutional projects.
  • Alterations to commercial, industrial and institutional projects based on size/complexity. Contact Building Safety Codes Officer for a ruling if in doubt.
  • Change of use or occupancy of a commercial, industrial or institutional building.

Related Pages

Last edited: February 7, 2022