Local Alberta Sales Tax and Countrywide Rates: A Small Business’s Guide to Selling Across Canada

Michael Pignatelli
Jan 03, 2022

Disclaimer: Please note this article is not financial advice. The purpose of our blog is purely educational, so please consult a professional accountant or financial advisor before making any financial decision.

As a small business owner in Alberta, you may be looking to start selling your products or services to your locality and expanding across Canada. However, it's essential to be aware of the local Alberta sales taxes and Canadian sales tax to know how they affect your business finances. So whether you have begun your business or are still thinking about what to put up, this article will be helpful for you!

We’ll discuss some great business ideas in Alberta, Canada, and give you the sales tax knowledge you need to be a tax-compliant business. Let us also share a few tips to ensure your small business thrives.

Top Brick and Mortar Opportunities in Alberta

Alberta is home to 4,442,879 people, and the province is rich in various resources. Through market research, you'll know what products the population needs. You'll also learn that the supplies easily found in Alberta can give you an idea of what products to sell. Here are some business ideas that may click in the region and something you can also handle. 

Assistance to Busy Professionals

Alberta is a highly industrialized province. It is home to many working professionals who work daily for 8-12 hours. Here are some you can explore:

  • Pet daycare 
  • Baby daycare center
  • Home cleaning service
  • Laundry service
  • Lawn and garden service
  • Snow removal service

People living in this province are busy, so offering services that can assist them are great business opportunities.

Serving Beef and Dairy

Anything related to beef and dairy is an excellent idea as Alberta is rich in beef and dairy fields. Many individuals born and raised in the region may have their fields to manage. If you are one of the inheritors or you have bought land in Alberta, here are some ventures to take: 

  • Beef and dairy delicacies
  • A restaurant
  • A catering business
  • Supplying to huge names in the food industry

Next to food, you can also utilize Alberta’s prominence as a great source of construction materials. Construction businesses will never lose demand—buildings and establishments are continuously built as Canadian provinces industrialize and improve their economies. As a small business, you can begin producing small supplies and slowly grow them to become a supplier of construction businesses. 

Ecommerce Opportunities in Alberta

It is tempting to think that the sky's the limit when selling online, but this may not be that true. There are individual considerations when selling on physical stores and eCommerce sites. It would be best to do market research, study what sells and where they sell best, manage your inventory, and learn how to deliver your sales. 

These tasks are on top of your store launching, optimization, and product advertising and marketing. Also, the competition online is more challenging—with millions of sellers on different eCommerce websites. You need to be ahead or at par with your counterparts. For that to happen, you can do some of these:

Go for the big eCommerce platforms: Know which platforms to launch your store on. In Canada, the top eCommerce sites are Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Costco, and Home Depot. It would also be easier to expand internationally when selling on these sites. 

Know what to sell: You can rely on numbers or follow your heart when deciding what to sell. Numbers will tell you which products are in demand, but you can also build a business based on your passion. 

Manage your inventory: Once you have decided what to sell, you need to plan when you’ll store your products and how you will deliver them. Many eCommerce sites also offer warehousing and fulfillment like Fulfillment By Amazon

alberta sales tax rate

Alberta Sales Tax and Countrywide Charges

Together with your objective and creative business plans are your tax obligations. With every sale you make, you need to charge sales taxes. Yearly, you are also obliged to file your personal and corporate income taxes. What are these? Let’s look and know about them one by one. 

Alberta Sales Tax Rates

Alberta follows the charging of General Sales Tax (GST), a federal tax charged to almost all products sold in Canada. Alberta sales tax rate is at 5%, so you have to multiply this value by the product's total price to get how much sales tax you will add to the buyer’s total cost. 

Sales Tax Across Canada

Across Canada’s 13 provinces, sales tax rates differ as some charge GST, while others charge Provincial Sales Tax (PST), Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), or Quebec Sales Tax (QST). Knowing these different taxes is a must once you open your business to buyers across the whole country and different provinces. 

ProvinceGSTPSTHSTTotal Tax to Pay
Alberta5%  5%
Northwest Territories5%  5%
Nunavut5%  5%
Yukon5%6% 5%
Saskatchewan5%7% 11%
British Columbia5%7% 12%
Manitoba5%  12%
Ontario *9.975%13%13%
Quebec5%  14.98%
New Brunswick  15%15%
Newfoundland and Labrador  15%15%
Nova Scotia  15%15%
Prince Edward Island 15%15%

Corporate and Personal Income Tax

You also need to know your personal and corporate income tax returns. The two are computed in the same way: You need to know your income and check to which tax bracket it belongs to know how much tax you need to pay. Income tax Canada is paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually. 

Tips for a Successful Small Business

Now, you already have some ideas what type of business you can launch in Alberta, both online and offline stores, an introduction to the technical details about taxation. Before we let you go, here are some tips to ensure your small business thrives and succeeds

  • Build a company you care about. It is easier to get up and running every day because you are working on something meaningful and close to your heart. 
  • Be objective with your business plan. Set realistic and measurable goals, and strategize how you can reach each target. 
  • Have a solid support team. Delegate the technical tasks to experts to ensure they are done correctly and get frequent reports. 
  • Be honest with your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your business strengths allows you to invest in them more and duplicate them. These weaknesses will enable you to be more competent in strategizing. 
  • Know your target audience. The lifeblood of your business is your customers. Always get to know them, what they want, how they respond to your services and offers, and what more you can offer. 
  • Keep an eye on your company finances. Know your KPIs and have weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports. The smaller your business, the more often reports should be. Knowing your financial status can help you adjust game plans right away. 
  • Always pay your taxes. To ensure the Canada Revenue Agency will not run after you for unpaid taxes, always comply with the tax requirements. 

Get Assistance From Unloop!

If you are a small business owner in Alberta, it's essential to know the sales tax rates. This article has provided information on how much sales taxes are in the region and from province to province. With this knowledge, you can save money by paying the right amount of sales tax for your products or services sold across Canada. 

If you need assistance in bookkeeping, accounting, and tax computation, Unloop can be your partner. We began as a small eCommerce business ourselves, so we know the exact assistance a small business owner needs. Give us a call now at 877-421-7270. We'd love to discuss our offers with you!

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Unloop is the first and only accounting firm exclusively servicing ecommerce and inventory businesses in the US and Canada. With the power of people and technology, our team dives deep into COGS and inventory accounting.. You are paired with a dedicated bookkeeping team that prepares accurate financial statements, financial forecasts, and can also pay bills or run payroll for you. Come tax time, everything is organized and ready to go, so you don't need to worry. Book a call with an ecommerce accountant today to learn more.
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