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The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Small Business in Calgary


Welcome to the bustling entrepreneurial scene of Calgary, where opportunities await those with innovative ideas and
the drive to start a small business. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time business owner,
this guide will walk you through the essential steps to establish and grow your small business in Calgary.

1. Business Idea and Planning

Every successful business starts with a solid idea and a well-thought-out plan. Begin by identifying a niche or
industry that you’re passionate about and that has a demand in the Calgary market. Conduct thorough market
research to understand your potential customers, competition, and market trends.

2. Business Structure and Registration

Choose the most suitable business structure for your venture, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership,
corporation, or limited liability company (LLC). Register your business with the Alberta government and obtain
any necessary permits or licenses. You can apply for these through the Alberta Business Licenses Online portal.

3. Business Plan

Create a comprehensive business plan outlining your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. A
well-crafted business plan is essential for securing financing, attracting investors, and guiding your
business’s growth.

4. Financing Your Business

Securing adequate financing is crucial to get your small business off the ground. Explore various funding options
such as personal savings, loans, grants, or angel investors. The Government of Alberta’s Small Business Resources
can provide information on available financial assistance programs.

5. Location and Space

Choose a strategic location for your business in Calgary. Consider factors like foot traffic, proximity to
suppliers, and your target audience. Negotiate lease agreements or purchase property that suits your business
needs and budget.

6. Branding and Marketing

Build a strong brand identity for your small business. Create a memorable logo, design appealing marketing
materials, and establish an online presence through a professional website and active social media profiles.
Calgary offers numerous marketing opportunities, so make the most of local advertising channels.

7. Hiring and Workforce

If your business requires employees, carefully recruit and hire individuals who align with your company’s values
and mission. Familiarize yourself with Alberta’s labor laws and regulations to ensure fair employment

8. Financial Management

Implement a robust financial management system to track income, expenses, and taxes. Consider hiring an
accountant or using accounting software to maintain accurate financial records. Calgary’s business ecosystem
offers access to financial advisors who can help with financial planning and tax strategies.

9. Networking and Resources

Calgary boasts a vibrant business community with numerous networking opportunities. Join local business
associations, attend industry events, and connect with fellow entrepreneurs. Utilize resources like the Calgary Economic Development organization, which offers
valuable support and information for small businesses.

10. Legal and Compliance

Stay compliant with all federal, provincial, and municipal regulations that apply to your business. Consult legal
experts if necessary to ensure your business operations adhere to the law. Be aware of tax obligations,
licensing requirements, and zoning regulations in Calgary.

11. Growth and Adaptation

As your small business in Calgary grows, continue to adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands.
Stay informed about industry trends and consider expanding your offerings or entering new markets to
diversify your revenue streams.

12. Community Engagement

Engage with the local community and give back whenever possible. Participate in Calgary’s vibrant business
events, sponsor local causes, and build strong relationships with customers and fellow entrepreneurs. A
positive community presence can significantly benefit your small business.


Starting a small business in Calgary offers a world of opportunities in a dynamic and thriving city. With careful
planning, determination, and a strong commitment to excellence, you can establish and grow a successful
venture that contributes to Calgary’s vibrant business landscape. Remember that success may not come
overnight, but with dedication and perseverance, you can achieve your entrepreneurial dreams in this
beautiful city.

Best of luck on your journey to entrepreneurship in Calgary!