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Grande Prairie, Alta. is Canada’s most business-friendly municipality Photo: William Vavrek/City of Grande Prairie

How do you go about picking the country’s best place to do business? Every company will have its own criteria for a desirable location, after all.

A retail outlet dependent on a local clientele will do best in a community with high incomes and a rising population. An exporter, by contrast, will favour cost advantages such as cheap space and power. Organizations requiring specialized skills may need to be near a big city or university, or offer an appealing lifestyle.

This list highlights the cities and districts that go the extra mile to make businesses feel appreciated. They have the lowest property tax mill rates, the fastest processing times for building permits, the most affordable and hassle-free business licensing and more.

Here are Canada’s Top 10 Most Business-Friendly Places for 2016:

1. Grande Prairie, Alta.

Population: 67,993
Business property tax rate: 1.849600% of assessed value
Business license cost: No fee
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 1 week

2. Lethbridge, Alta.

Population: 119,995
Business property tax rate: 1.885500% of assessed value
Business license cost: $50 to $199
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 1 week

3. Collingwood, Ont.

Population: 21,433
Commercial property tax rate: 0.952300% of assessed value
Industrial property tax rate: 1.170100% of assessed value
Business license cost: No fee
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 2 weeks

4. Joliette, Que.

Population: 50,480
Commercial property tax rate: 2.210000% of assessed value
Industrial property tax rate: 1.810000% of assessed value
Business license cost: $50 to $199
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 1 week

5. Victoria, B.C.

Population: 85,332
Commercial property tax rate: 2.150000% of assessed value
Industrial property tax rate: 2.210000% of assessed value
Business license cost: $50 to $199
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 1 week

6. St. John’s, Nfld.

Population: 209,555
Business property tax rate: 2.520000% of assessed value
Business license cost: $0 to $49
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 2 weeks

7. Granby, Que.

Population: 80,425
Business property tax rate: 1.993400% of assessed value
Business license cost: No fee
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 2 weeks

8. Sherbrooke, Que.

Population: 215,632
Commercial property tax rate: 2.068800% of assessed value
Industrial property tax rate: 2.573400% of assessed value
Business license cost: No fee
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 2 weeks

9. Saskatoon, Sask.

Population: 306,794
Business property tax rate: 1.845300% of assessed value
Business license cost: $50 to $199
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 2 weeks

10. Moose Jaw, Sask.

Population: 36,976
Business property tax rate: 1.944100% of assessed value
Business license cost: $50 to $199
Average processing time for a commercial building permit: Less than 2 weeks

 

 

Click here for vital facts and figures on 219 Canadian municipalities »

The Canadian Business Best Places for Business relies on a mix of self-reported data from the municipal governments and independent demographic and market data. Governmental indicators factored into the ranking include business license cost (lower is better); building permit processing time (lower is better); business property tax rate (lower is better) or industrial property tax rate (lower is better) and commercial property tax rate (lower is better); business income tax rate (lower is better); small business income tax rate where different (lower is better).

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