Business Licence Bylaw and Fee Structure Review

Type
Planning & Development

Business Licence Bylaw and Fee Structure Review

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.

Public Meeting Scheduled

Foothills County will be holding a Public Meeting at 1:30 p.m. on November 23, 2022, to give business owners and County residents the opportunity to provide their comments and concerns regarding business licensing directly to Council.  

Current Business Licence Bylaw

Draft new Business Licence Bylaw

Potential Fee Structure Options