Friday, August 12, 2016

3804 businesses open in the first half of 2016; numbers holding strong

Business in Calgary may not be booming, but it’s not busting either, according to City licensing data.

Calgary’s seen an increase of 293 more new business licenses taken out in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. This could be attributed to a boost in home-based and consulting businesses, says City of Calgary Business Registry Coordinator Sherry Bourque.

“Anecdotally, we’ve seen more people come in for these types of businesses, perhaps to make some extra cash on the side in a fluctuating economy and use their expertise in a different way,” says Bourque. “But for both businesses licenses opened and closed overall, the numbers we’re seeing are pretty status quo.”

New business licenses taken out by quarter, from 2013 to 2016

Closed business licenses by quarter, from 2013 to 2016

If you’re thinking about operating a business in Calgary, The City’s online registration system can help you determine what approvals, permits and licenses you may need. Visit for more.


  1. The numbers have clearly gone up for closures for Q2 2016,so not status quo and words like "anecdotally" should not be used in describing official statistics - a lot of home-based businesses especially consultancy services are exempt from having a licence so your anecdote doesn't make sense.

    1. Thanks for your comments. If you add Q1 and Q2 together, the stats fluctuate between a difference of 100-200 per year (which isn't just closures - it could also mean a change of address or ownership), so they're not too far off.

      Also, home-based businesses are required to register and obtain a home occupation permit for their home office, regardless of whether they require a business license or not. These stats reflect registrations, not just business licenses.