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If you are looking to start or operate your own business in Norman Wells, several government regulations and legal aspects must be considered as you pursue your venture. You will want to consider some, or all, of the following:

Certificate of Compliance

You will need to attach a copy of this certificate (obtained from the Worker’s Compensation Board of the NWT) to your business license application.

All employers who operate or establish a business in the Northwest Territories must register with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC), unless they meet the Temporary Employer criteria as set out in WSCC Policy 00.05.01.

Did you know you can register your business online with WSCC Connect? Read the step-by-step instructions here.

Municipal Business License

You must obtain a municipal business license from the Town of Norman Wells. The phone number for the Town is (867) 587-3700; either the Town Manager can approve it, or it will go to the Town Council for review and decision. There is an annual fee ranges from $75 to $300 for a business license in Norman Wells. Click here for the municipal business license application form.

Registration with Legal Registries, Department of Justice

All businesses operating in the NWT (including those based in other provinces or territories) must register with the Department of Justice. The Legal Registries office is located in Yellowknife; their website is located at and their toll free phone number is 1-877-743-3302.

Business Number and GST

Businesses are issued numbers to simplify dealings with various government agencies. Details about obtaining a number are available from the Yellowknife office of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (Toll free 1-800-959-5525) This department also requires that you register for Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan and employment Insurance purposes. Furthermore, if your business has annual revenues over $30,000, you must also register for the GST. (The Northwest Territories has no sales tax other than the 5% GST)

Northwest Territories Payroll Tax

Any business starting in the Northwest Territories must register for this tax within 21 days of paying an employee. You can get details on how to register from the GNWT’s Department of Finance, Taxation Division (Toll Free: 1-800-661-0820).

Business Incentive Policy (BIP)

The BIP is a policy affecting GNWT contracting activities, which may affect your business. The GNWT gives an incentive (a bid adjustment) to registered Northern Businesses that bid on contracts for providing goods and services to the GNWT and the public.
For more information, please contact:
The BIP Monitoring Office
Department Industry, Tourism and Investment
Yellowknife, NT
Phone: (867) 873-7215 or 920-3182

Other issues that you may need to consider include:

IssueWhere to find Information
Employment StandardsDepartment of Education, Culture and Employment – Yellowknife. Information available online at
Health RequirementsSahtu Health & Social Services Authority – Norman Wells
Liquor and Tobacco IssuesLiquor Licensing Board, Department of Finance – Hay River
Wildlife, Guide, Outfitter and Tourism Permits and LicensesDepartment of Environment & Natural Resources (ENR) – Norman Wells
Employment IssuesNorman Wells Career Centre (Education, Culture and Employment, Shihta Regional Council)

Chamber of Commerce

Norman Wells has a Chamber of Commerce, which may be reached by calling 1-867-688-0264.  The Chamber accepts applications from businesses that wish to be members, and they serve the North but do not limit membership to Norman Wells or even NWT businesses; businesses from outside the territory may also apply.  Applications may be sought from the Chamber itself.

Banking Services

There is one bank in Norman Wells – the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). The bank can be reached at 867-587-2131 during business hours; loans may be applied for through this satellite of the Yellowknife branch. Some of the agencies listed below may be considered as sources of funding for business ventures in Norman Wells.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the bank for Canadian Entrepreneurs. Click here to find out more on how to get support for your small or medium-sized business in any industry at any stage of growth.

Other Information

The following government agencies may also be sources of funding, support, or other information when planning a business in the Norman Wells area.  They all have programs that cater to various aspects of doing business and are worth investigating, through their programs are not necessarily geared specifically for northern ventures.

  • Industry Canada
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Human Resources Development Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Canadian Heritage
  • Canadian Council for the Arts