EASY ACCESS TO FORMS FOR KITCHENER-WATERLOO SMALL BUSINESS
There is a recent article at the Record. It is located here. In essence, the municipal government of Waterloo is amalgamating the business licence process for greater convenience. It also adjusts the business licence fees so that they will be revenue neutral.
I believe that these are good measures. First, I feel that it is best when governments align user fees to the users of the government service. This alignment promotes fairness and efficiency.
The current annual cost for business licences in the Region of Waterloo is approximately $354 000.00. A blogger responded to this article by asking why it costs so much?
I did some research. Some businesses require more inspectors than others. Every taxicab in Kitchener must be inspected three times per year plus an annual check to ensure the meter’s accuracy. Limousines and transportation for special needs passengers also undergo several inspections.
Regional Inspectors inspect second-hand stores to ensure that the register is accurate. This measure is designed to prevent stolen goods from being sold.
Salvage yards must have a rigorous inspection process to ensure that the yard is properly zoned, fenced and not leaking pollutants.
In general, there needs to be regional inspectors for these bylaws and the cost of this service should be born on the businesses. They may be able to write off the costs of licencing as a business expense.
I also applaud the measures to amalgamate and simply the licencing process. I was pleased to find a website called BizPal located here: . You can select a region and type of business to be connected to all required paperwork for registering your business. This measure, like others, explains why Canada is rated highly with regard to ease of opening a business. Both the city of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo use this service.
With regard to zoning bylaws in Kitchener-Waterloo, each city has its own interactive map to inform the potential business owner of the applicable bylaws. The one for the City of Kitchener is found here.
The City of Waterloo map is found here.
I must admit that I am impressed with how local government has tried to make regulatory compliance as easy as possible for business owners.