How it's done
The business climate is the general economic environment that local businesses operate in. Reviewing and understanding the local business climate provides valuable insights about the economy, costs, risks, and incentives that may impact the success of your business. This activity will guide you to better understand the business climate in Calgary and help you answer the following fundamental questions.
What is the business climate in Calgary?
We have compiled the most important aspects of Calgary’s business climate as an interactive dashboard below. This dashboard provides valuable economic, resident, household, dwelling and development indicators that may influence the success of your business.
What costs and assistance should I know about?
Whether you have a new or existing business it is critical to be aware of costs, incentives and grants that impact your business. This dashboard provides you with a snapshot of the major costs of conducting business in Calgary and assistance available to Calgary businesses.
Businesses in Calgary continue to enjoy the Alberta advantage when it comes to corporate income taxes in comparison to other provinces. With no provincial sales tax, no payroll tax, no health care premiums, lower personal income tax rates and the lowest fuel tax among provinces. Alberta continues to be a great place to do business thanks to its infrastructure, cities, diverse industries, growing population and investment opportunities.
As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, the provincial government has accelerated the Job Creation Tax Cut, reducing the general corporate income tax rate to 8% on July 1, 2020, a year and a half sooner than originally planned. Alberta’s Recovery Plan also introduces the Innovation Employment Grant (IEG), a program that will help create jobs for Albertans by supporting small and medium-sized businesses that invest in research and development.
The Alberta small business income tax rate is 2 percent for eligible small businesses with income up to $500,000 and a competitive corporate income tax rate is in place for manufacturers. Calgary businesses also benefit from the fact that Alberta has no inventory tax, no machinery and equipment tax and no payroll tax, which are common in many other provinces and U.S. states. Learn more
Calgary property taxes
Calgary non-residential property taxes (also known as Calgary commercial property taxes, Calgary industrial property taxes, or Calgary office property taxes) are calculated and billed annually using the property’s assessed value, as found on your property assessment notice, and the City Council-approved property tax rate. The current property tax rates are provided in the following table. Learn more
Additional costs of doing business
Calgary Economic Development's Business Development Managers are equipped to assist you in starting a business in Calgary, providing information on office space costs, leasing and wages. For more information please contact Calgary Economic Development. Find additional resources
About off-site levies
Off-site levies are charges that developers pay to The City of Calgary to help with the cost of off-site infrastructure. Off-site infrastructure includes water and wastewater treatment facilities, recreation centres, roads, libraries, fire halls, police stations and more. Off-site levies help us build great communities and create a long term sustainable strategy for funding the cost of growth.
Calgary has continued to experience rapid growth and is forecasted to grow by 1.3 million people in the next 60 years. Growth provides numerous benefits to Calgarians, including support for local businesses, arts and culture and community vibrancy. At the same time, growth creates a need for investment in infrastructure.
Off-site levy amount
The following link outlines the levies for both the developed areas of the city as well as the newer areas on the outskirts. Information about at what point in the process payment is required is also described. Learn more
How do I calculate my levy?
If you'd like to get an idea of the new levy you may be charged on your development, download and print our form. Please note, the purpose of the form is to help calculate estimates only. All fees will be calculated and finalized by The City. See 2018 Off-site Levy Calculation
For more information, please contact our Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calgary’s wage and salary rates are competitive with the rest of Canada and with the United States. When total compensation rates are compared, Calgary and Alberta provides even more of a cost advantage compared to the U.S., largely because of publicly funded health care. A summary of the average hourly earnings for the Calgary CMA is shown in the table below.
|Industry||Average hourly wage
rate in 2018
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting||$24.93|
|Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction||$47.52|
|Transportation and Warehousing||$30.28|
|Information and Cultural Industries||$31.55|
|Finance and Insurance||$32.02|
|Real Estate Rental and Leasing||$28.74|
|Professional Scientific and Technical Services||$40.23|
|Administrative and Support||$23.09|
|Health Care and Social Assistance||$30.59|
|Arts Entertainment and Recreation||$22.58|
|Accommodation and food services||$17.45|
|Other Services (except Public Admin)||$26.14|
|All Industry Average||$31.24|
Source: Statistics Canada, 2019
The following link provides more information on Calgary’s salaries and minimum wages. Learn more
The reasonable cost of living in Calgary comes as a pleasant surprise to some people. It’s more affordable to live in Calgary than in many large North American cities. Provincial tax, personal income taxes and inheritance taxes in Alberta are among the lowest in the country, and Albertans’ provincial health care insurance is free. Another bonus – Alberta is the only province in Canada without a sales tax.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Statistics Canada's Consumer Price Index (CPI) – commonly referred to as the inflation rate - provides a broad measure of the cost of living in Canada. While there are other ways to measure price changes, the CPI is the most important indicator because of its widespread use, for example, to calculate changes in government payments such as the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.
Through the monthly and annual CPI, Statistics Canada tracks the retail price of a representative shopping basket of about 600 goods and services from an average household's expenditure: food, housing, transportation, furniture, clothing and recreation. Learn more
Businesses in Calgary benefit from:
No provincial sales tax
No payroll tax
No inventory tax
No machinery and equipment tax
No health care premiums
Free provincial health care insurance
Lower personal income tax rates
The lowest fuel tax among provinces
Small business income tax rate of just 2%
Corporate income tax rate of 10%