Starting a Business

The County of Newell is a great place to do business. It is readily accessible by the Trans-Canada Highway, Canada’s major east-west transportation route, north via Highway 36 and south via Highway 36 or Highway 875 to the U.S.A. border. 

We are home to the Eastern Irrigation District which manages an extensive raw water distribution network to support the irrigated agriculture in the area. The County also offers regional water transmission main pipelines that conveys potable water throughout the region. 

We are welcoming, friendly and inviting. Contact the County to find out how we can work together to make your business a reality!

For information on our regional Economic Development initiative and support for local businesses, see below.


Approval is required to operate a business in the County of Newell, however, our approvals are called Development Permits, not business licenses.

A Home Occupation permit is required if you are operating a business out of your home and/or accessory building. There are different types of Home Occupation permits based on the intensity of the operation. Home Occupation permits are issued to the owner/applicant of the parcel and that specific business. These permits are not transferable to a different owner/applicant or a different parcel of land. The owner/applicant must reside on the parcel where the Home Occupation business will be operating.

A Development Permit is required for the operation of a business on a non-residential parcel of land that is being used for business purposes. A Development Permit is transferable where the use remains unchanged and is affected only by a change of ownership, tenancy or occupancy. However, where any use has been discontinued for a period of 12 months or more, the Development Permit is no longer valid. Any change of use on a parcel requires a new Development Permit.  

In either case, if there is any intensification of the business, please contact the Planning and Development Department to confirm that your permit will cover the uses under which it was issued.

The County of Newell is part of the Brooks Newell Region Economic Development initiative. Together with our municipal partners, we have created a Joint Services Committee that has developed a strategic plan built around business retention and expansion, investment attraction, and partnerships and collaboration.

Brooks Newell Region staff members are responsible for coordinating the regional economic development efforts and implementing activities that support and build business and economic development in our region. This team is always willing to help make your vision a reality.

Check out the Brooks Newell Region website for more information.