Apply for a Business License

Apply for a Business License by downloading an application and submitting it in person, by mail, fax, or email to:

Attn: Planning & Development

Big Lakes County
5305 56 street, Box 239
High Prairie, AB   T0G 1E0

P: 780 523 5955   F: 780 523 4227

Email: [email protected]

This applies to all types of business stated in the County’s Land Use Bylaw 03-2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

You are not required to obtain a business license to operate a business in Big Lakes County. Business Licenses are voluntary and free of charge in Big Lakes County. However, there are several advantages to obtaining a business license:

  • Businesses with business licenses would be part of a new County Business Directory;

  • Provides a fair environment for all businesses operating in the County;

  • Potential to expand customer base. For example, Planning & Development is often asked for a listing of tradesmen;

  • Businesses can utilize the data as a resource for business planning;

  • A business license shows the public that their business meets requirements and is permitted to operate within the County;

  • Licensed businesses will benefit from receiving business-related information directly from the County.

  • Provides data to enable the County to develop a business directory;

  • The County will be able to reach more businesses in provision of information or training opportunities to help them grow and prosper;

  • Provides valuable data of the community and region to aid economic development in developing industry attraction strategies;

  • Provides the County with key information to support the community during an emergency response; and

  • When combined with the development approval process, a licensed business ensures that zoning, building codes and other potential restrictions have been adhered to.

A home occupation (minor) does not require a development permit provided it complies with Section 6.32.2 of the Land Use Bylaw.

A home occupation (minor) is the use of a residential building to conduct a business or commercial enterprise. The business portion shall be incidental or subordinate to the primary residential function and shall be limited to the confines of the residence. This includes hairdressers, accountants, cosmetic sales, seamstresses, and other similar uses.

Any other type of business in the County on titled lands shall require a development permit. A development permit is necessary to ensure that the proposed business complies with the uses as stated in the Land Use Bylaw.

Please click here to download a development permit application form.

The Land Use Bylaw regulates the types of business activities permitted in each land use district. If your type of business is not listed as “permitted” or “discretionary” use in the Land Use District for your proposed business location, you may apply for a Land Use Bylaw Amendment to redistrict the property to accommodate the proposed business. Please contact the Planning & Development Department to discuss your options.

To contact the Planning & Development Department, please call 780-523-5955.

Click here to go to the Government of Alberta’s website for information on obtaining a business license in Alberta.