The Best Places in Canada for Small Business Opportunities

Nov 1, 2017

As of 2015, there were 1.14 million small businesses in Canada.

If you’d like to be one of the million small businesses in the country, there are several factors to consider.

The location is one of the biggest aspects of choosing a place to start your new business venture. And where you choose to build your business depends on what industry you’re in. But where in Canada is the best place to start?

We’re showing you the top cities in Canada for small business opportunities.

Edmonton, Alberta

When you hear Edmonton, you may automatically think of the oil and manufacturing industries. Even their hockey team is called the Oilers.

In 1947, oil was discovered in the town, boosting the population growth quickly.

While oil is still a large industry, it’s also competing with new businesses that are being created in the city. There are several factors that contribute to this shift in industries.

Support for small businesses

The communities in Edmonton are very supportive of small business ventures. In fact, there are organizations that are setup specifically to support businesses.

The Edmonton Research Park is a great place to research various topics in medicine and the sciences. The Edmonton Economic Development Corp. works to build development within the city.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon is situated on the South Saskatchewan River and in the middle of the country.

It’s near major highways that connect the east and the west. So it’s great for businesses to transport their goods across the country.

Businesses large and small have moved or started in this here, and the lifestyle and vibe of the city have much to do with it.


Like many Canadian cities, Saskatoon is home to a large university, the University of Saskatchewan.

This research university perpetuates creative thinking and technological advances. And many of the students graduate from the University looking to start their own ventures.

Also, over half of the population is college educated and they’re putting their educations to use investing in their community through small business ventures.

Cost of Living

When starting a new business, every dollar is important. And the cost of living is what’s drawing more businesses to Saskatoon.

So if you’re looking for small business opportunities, this is the place to go. The average home price hovers around $400,000. The sales tax is some of the lowest in the country, at only 5%. Businesses themselves also have the lower taxes in the country compared to other province. And household utilities are even below the national average.

Grande Prairie, Alberta

You may think of Grande Prairie as just another Alberta oil town, but its statistics and facts cast a much different light. Alberta’s 7th largest city in the province is one of the best places in Canada for small business opportunities outside of the oil industry.

Government Grants

The local government helps make this community one of the best places to start a business in Canada. People looking for small business opportunities can get a $10,000 grant from the City for new housing units. And any new residential buildings built in the downtown area are free of property tax for three years.

Those kinds of numbers will make anyone want to invest in this community!

Squamish, British Columbia

A beautiful little city located north of Vancouver is one of the best places in the country for small business opportunities.

This idyllic speck on the coast of Canada so beautiful, its residents and tourists flock to this area to enjoy the great outdoors. The community’s love for nature and adventure helps perpetuate its passion for small businesses, particularly in the environmentally friendly sector.

Community Involvement

This community is extremely supportive of small and local businesses.

A supportive community makes new businesses want to hang their hats here. They are a community focused on clean energy and preserving the breathtaking nature that surrounds them.

This coupled with their passion for the outdoors makes it an inviting places for new ventures.

And some of the lowest commercial property taxes are found in Squamish. The property tax rate is only 1.2%. This makes it easier for businesses to make their mark.

Milton, Ontario

Milton, Ontario is only a short drive west of Toronto and located close to Pearson International Airport.

But it’s not just known for its proximity to one of Canada’s largest city. In fact, Milton is quickly becoming known as one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. Recent reports show that the city has doubled in size since 2001.

Government Support

The local municipalities are key to making an area a great place for new business ventures. And Milton is one of those cities that has a supportive local government.

The business taxes are also important to consider when you’re looking at this area for new small business opportunities. The commercial property tax is only around 1.7%.

Milton also has the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre where entrepreneurs can go for help in starting their businesses. There they can receive education and assistance from professionals. They can also use this centre to network with other entrepreneurs.

Quality of Life

The small town atmosphere is a far cry from the busy Toronto just east of them. And that’s what people like about this area! In fact, the average home is only around $500,000 as opposed to Toronto’s million dollar abodes.

You’re able to run a business near a larger city without having to deal with the hustle and bustle. People here enjoy a quiet life with a quaint downtown, but are also able to afford to run their businesses here.


As an entrepreneur, there’s a lot to consider before you open the doors of your new business.

With Canada being a country that spans two coasts and several time zones, it’s hard to decide exactly where to plant the roots of your small business.

Whether you’re looking for an area with a small town feel or a community that fully supports your new business, there’s an option for everyone.

If you’re looking to start a new business venture, make sure that all your ducks are in a row. Contact us with any business registration questions you may have, or use our Free NUANS Preliminary Search to check whether your preferred business name is available.



Free NUANS Preliminary Search
Free NUANS Preliminary Search
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