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Business Licensing

Foothills County requires all businesses operating within the County's boundaries to obtain a valid business licence unless exempted under provincial or federal legislation.

When acquiring your business licence you will also be given the opportunity to list your business in our upcoming Business Directory. If you would like to have your business listed, please ensure to fill out the pertinent section on the business license application form.

Business Licences are issued on a yearly basis. Business Licence renewal applications are due February 28.

Business Licence Application Forms/Renewal

Have you Obtained a Development Permit?

The majority of business uses based within Foothills must first obtain a Development Permit before a Business Licence will be issued. To find out if you require a Development Permit please review the Foothills County Home Office and Home Based Business information sheet and Land Use Bylaw. Should you have any questions regarding these documents please contact our Planning & Development Department.

Foothills County Home Office and Home Based Business
Land Use Bylaw

Submitting your Business Licence Application

All Business Licence applications are to be submitted with the required fee to our Business Licensing Officer. Please ensure that the form is completed in full, including the Business Owner(s) Signature. Your Business Licence and receipt of payment will be mailed.

Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
Mailing Address: 309 Macleod Trail, Box 5605, High River, AB, T1V 1M7
Phone: (403) 652-2341
Fax: (403) 652-7880
Email: business_license@foothillscountyab.ca 

Business Licence Fees

For current business licence fees please contact the Business Licensing Officer by phone at (403) 652-2341 or by email at  business_license@foothillscountyab.ca 

Business Licence Bylaw 1018/1988

BizPaL Online Tool

BizPaL Online Tool

Your online source for information on business permits and licences you may require. BizPaL helps you generate a personalized list of the business documents you need for all levels of government; local, provincial/territorial, and federal; you may have to deal with in order to start up or grow your business. And if you are already operating, BizPaL can help you verify that you have all the correct permits and licences. Simply provide some generic information and BizPaL will provide the business permit and licence information specific to your business.

Business Licence Bylaw and Fee Structure Review 

Update: On December 7, 2022

Council agreed to postpone the decision and revisit the Business Licence Bylaw and Fee Structure in 2023.

On February 23, 2022, Council directed administration to undertake a review of the County's Business Licence Bylaw as outlined in a project plan provided to Council by administration. Notification of the project was sent to all County business licence holders by email and the project was advertised on the County Website and social media platforms. An on-line survey was provided so that stakeholders could give feedback about business licensing and over 130 responses were received.

A Comprehensive report was provided to Council in April 2022 that included information about the County’s current licensing program, the current Business Licence Bylaw and the business licence practices of other municipalities across the Province. The report also included a summary report of the Business Licence Survey results.

Summary report of Business Licence Survey results

Verbatim comments from open-ended question on Business Licence Survey

  • Based on direction received from Council, County administration have developed a draft new Business Licence Bylaw and some options for potential new licensing fees. The proposed new bylaw is clearer and easier to understand than the current bylaw and contains more robust enforcement provisions to make it easier for the County to enforce. The potential fee structure options provided are as follows:
    • A lower annual fee that would be the same for all businesses,
    • An initial fee that would be slightly higher than the current annual fee for most businesses, but with a simplified fee structure (fewer categories) and free (or half price) renewals as long as the business is operating,
    • An annual fee that would be similar to the current fee for most businesses but with a simplified fee structure and options for 3-year (at a small discount) or temporary (1 month) permits.

Council may opt to adopt one of these scenarios or a hybrid of two or all three.

Current Business Licence Bylaw

Draft new Business Licence Bylaw

Potential Fee Structure Options