Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County

Review the Business Climate

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 Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County and help you answer the following fundamental questions.

What is the business climate in Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County?

We have compiled the most important aspects of Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County’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.

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Resident Indicator Population Growth Chart

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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 a business in Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County and assistance available to Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County businesses.

Information for the Town of Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County are provided below.

Rocky Mountain House

Property taxes are a way of fairly distributing the cost of providing local government services among the residences and businesses that use them. Property tax is calculated and billed annually using the property's assessed value, as found on your property assessment notice, and the Council-approved property tax rate. In order to calculate taxes, you will need to multiply the assessed value of the property by the tax rate.

Commercial Mill Rates

Year Municipal School Foundation Westview Lodge Total Mill Rate
2017 9.3832 3.6400 0.1494 13.1726
2016 9.1453 3.6400 0.1436 12.9289
2015 8.7508 3.2620 0.1424 12.1552
2014 8.7174 3.6737 0.1397 12.5308
2013 8.2953 3.8640 0.1395 12.2988
2012 7.5107 3.9228 0.1415 11.5750

Residential Mill Rates

Year Municipal School Foundation Westview Lodge Total Mill Rate
2017 8.8832 2.4800 0.1494 11.5126
2016 8.6453 2.4800 0.1436 11.2689
2015 8.2508 2.4156 0.1424 10.8088
2014 8.2174 2.5093 0.1397 10.8664
2013 7.7953 2.6761 0.1395 10.6109
2012 7.5107 2.7047 0.1415 10.3569

For more information about taxes and assessment click here.

Clearwater County

Clearwater County’s Property Tax Calculator can be accessed here. For more information about property taxes click here.

Provincial and Federal Taxes

Businesses in the Region 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.

Effective July 1, 2015 the general Alberta corporate income tax rate is 12 per cent. The Alberta small business income tax rate is two per cent for eligible small businesses with income up to $500,000.

The combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate in the Region is 27 per cent for general businesses and 14 per cent for small businesses and a competitive corporate income tax rate is in place for manufacturers. Our local 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 the U.S.

Learn More

Information on development costs and licenses for both Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County is provided below.

Rocky Mountain House

Building Permits & Forms

For a list of permit application forms offered by the Planning and Community Development Department click here. For any questions on filling out a form, please contact Planning and Community Development at (403) 847-5260.

Business Licenses

The Town of Rocky Mountain House Bylaw 14/16V requires that every person carrying on or operating any of a business, callings, or trades must have a valid business license from the town, renewed on an annual basis. For more information about business license fees and applications click here.

Home Occupation Permits

For home-based businesses, a Home Occupation Development Permit must be approved before a business license can be issued. The Town’s Development Officer is the approval authority for all Class 1 Home Occupation Permits, and the Rocky Mountain House Municipal Planning Commission is the approval authority for all Class 2 Home Occupations. For more information about business license fees and applications click here.

Temporary Use of Public Property Application

For more information on temporary commercial use of public property (e.g. sidewalk sales, sidewalk patios, or temporary vending) please click here.

Clearwater County

Building Permits & Forms

On residential parcels, any building larger than 150 square feet, including a building on skids, requires development approval in Clearwater County. For more information on planning and development click here.

Business Licenses

Clearwater County does not issue business licenses. For businesses to operate in the County, they require development permit approval. Most business development permit applications go to the Municipal Planning Commission for a decision. Please contact the Planning & Development department for additional information – planning@clearwatercounty.ca.

Alberta’s wage and salary rates are competitive with the rest of Canada and the United States. When total compensation rates are compared, Alberta provides a significant cost advantage compared to the U.S., largely because of publicly funded health care.

Detailed wage and salary information for over 400 occupations in Alberta is available here.

Alberta is one of the most affordable places in Canada to live. Here’s a look at some of the financial benefits Alberta residents enjoy.

Higher Incomes

Families in Alberta typically enjoy a higher family income than other parts of Canada. Median total single-family household income is $141,754.50. Also, 50.1% of household incomes are equal to or greater than $125,000.

Lower Cost of Living

Alberta offers many cost-of-living advantages:

  • No provincial health-care premiums
  • No provincial sales tax (PST) Residents in every other province pay up to 10 per cent in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid by all Canadians
  • Tax rebates and credits are available to further help with your finances.

You can compare how Canadians spend their incomes in major cities here.

Affordable Housing

Owning your home is more affordable in Alberta cities than many other Canadian cities. Alberta housing prices are among the lowest when compared to equivalent cities in British Columbia or Ontario.

Every year, people from across Canada and the world choose Alberta as an ideal place to work and live.

Alberta's high standard of living, diverse and welcoming neighbourhoods and beautiful landscapes make it an incredible place to call home.

Businesses in Alberta 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 12%

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta was created by government to administer the WCB Act for the province’s workers and employers. Funded by employers the WCB provides cost-effective disability and liability insurance for work related injury and illness. The WCB compensates workers for lost income and coordinates the health care and other services that may be required to recover from a work-related injury. Learn more

Workers Compensation
Average Cost for All Manufacturing (per $100 Payroll) (Per $100 of insurable earnings) $0.24 - $2.94
Average Rate for Office Workers (Per $100 of insurable earnings) $0.13 - $0.25
Maximum Weekly Benefit (90 % of maximum insurable earnings $98,700) $1,225.61

Source: WCB rates by sector and industry

The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is the governing federal body for all legislation related to employment insurance (EI) in Canada. Businesses must deduct employment insurance from an employee’s insurable earnings if that employee is in insurable employment during the year.

Insurable employment includes most employment in Canada under a contract of service (employer – employee relationship). There is no age limit for deducting EI premiums.

Learn more: Canada Revenue Agency, Employment Insurance for Employers

Employment Insurance
Taxable Base Annual maximum insurable earnings $51,300.00
Rate % Employer contribution rate 2.282%
Average Among Existing Employers Annual maximum employer contribution $1,170.67

Source: Payworks Payroll Legislation

How do I use this information?

Having access to business climate statistics and information is one thing, but it's quite another to use data effectively and in a way that will benefit your business. This next section will help you do just that. Learn how to use this information to make better business decisions.

Monitor the local business climate

On-going assessment of the business climate is an essential part of operating a competitive business. In any business climate, there are numerous factors outside your control that will impact your business, both positively and negatively. The health of the economy impacts all businesses, but small businesses usually feel the effect of economic changes faster than big businesses. Improvements in the economy typically provide a rapid increase in new opportunities for small businesses, while an economic downturn can have a significant and prolonged negative impact.

Unfortunately, you can’t influence the economy, but you can monitor the business climate indicators provided above and then take the necessary actions to minimise risks to your business. Staying up to date with the business climate can also help you identify new opportunities that your business can take advantage of.

Know your costs

All industries are unique and incur different types of costs when starting or operating. Understanding these costs is essential when it comes to setting prices, budgeting and planning for growth or downturns. We’ve provided some of the local costs associated with taxes, development and labour that often get overlooked by businesses. There may be other municipal and provincial costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.

Where can I learn more about the business climate?

While we are providing you with a range of valuable information about the business climate, the fact is that there's much more available. In this section we provide you with links to other websites that will supplement our information and help to keep your finger on the pulse.

There may also be other municipal and provincial costs that apply to your business so we encourage you to contact us to find out more.

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Contact us

Jeff Hartling
Economic Development Officer
Town of Rocky Mountain House
403-847-5260

Box 1509 5116 - 50th Avenue, Rocky Mountain House, AB, T4T 1B2

Jerry Pratt
Economic Development Officer
Clearwater County
403-845-4444

Box 550 4340 - 47th Avenue, Rocky Mountain House, AB, T4T 1A4