Start a business in Kentville

Why Kentville?

Everyone knows Kentville is an awesome place to live and play.  The Town is rich with opportunities for recreation and culture, and a beautiful place to get a breath of fresh air, but you should also know that Kentville ranks among the top 7 places in all of Canada to start-up a new business!   That’s right!  The Canadian Federation of Independent Business ranked Kentville as 7th in the nation and #1 in Atlantic Canada  when it comes to doing business.  Join us!  We would love to have you!

As the largest Town in the Annapolis Valley, Kentville serves as the centre for legal, professional, financial, government, and health services.  Kentville has the highest per capita ratio of professionals than any other place in Canada, and plays host to a myriad of first class sporting events that keep it buzzing with activity year round.  A closely arranged downtown core and extra wide sidewalks make Kentville a very walkable community that manages a high volume of foot traffic daily.

Kentville boast unique restaurants, pubs, cafes and eateries, along with live theatre, museums and historic sites.  Downtown Kentville houses a diverse and unique collection of shops and retail stores offering shoppers whatever they need year round from gifts to necessities, all within walking distance of convenient all day free parking.   Kentville retailers provide a level of customer service that is unmatched.  Find a list of all Kentville businesses here in our Business Directory.

Find out if Kentville is right for you and your business!  Contact Community Economic Development Coordinator Lindsay Young at 679-2549 or email to find out more about doing business in Kentville.  Already operating?  Make sure we know you are here so we can give you the best support possible as you move forward in Kentville!


Some real reasons to consider Kentville for your business

1. Taxes: Everyone has to pay them, but in Kentville we are committed to keeping the commercial rates competitively low.  Since 2012, Kentville has steadily reduced the commercial tax rate each year.  Currently Kentville has the 5th lowest commercial rate in Nova Scotia.

2. Service delivery: Kentville prides itself on providing top notch service delivery to both the residential and commercial zones.  Kentville benefits from a 24/7 dedicated police service with a 3 minute average call out time.  The Town manages its own Public Works department, water commission staff, and fleet of equipment allowing us to excel in the areas of snow clearing and maintenance, and the delivery of water and sewer services.
3. Support: Kentville makes resources available to businesses and provides a robust variety of opportunities for free and subsidized promotion of your business.  We work hard to put our community in front of as many people as possible and are constantly growing our presence online.  We attract thousands of visitors through tourism initiatives and special event hosting.  The Town also runs subsidized joint advertising campaigns for businesses every year both in print and on radio with various local media companies.  Kentville believes in celebrating the successes of its businesses and telling the world how great they are.


Do I need a permit to open a business in Kentville?  Answer: Development Permits are most often required for new businesses when construction or renovations to a space are part of the opening-up process.  They are also required for home based businesses and for any change of use to a space (for example if you are opening up a retail store in a space that used to be a hair salon or an office).  The best bet is always to check in with us here at Town Hall to be sure.  If you DO need permits, the process for obtaining them is friendly and simple with minimal cost to you.
How can the Town help me with promoting my business?  Answer:  The Town of Kentville Planning and Development Department provides ongoing support to businesses through the provision of joint advertising/marketing opportunities, free online business listings, partnerships with special events and tourism initiatives, and more.  We will also put you in touch with with other valuable organizations (like KBC) who work specifically to support and promote business in Kentville.
How do I find available space in Kentville?  Answer:  There are a few places you can look to find available space in town if you aren’t working with a realtor.  KBC (Kentville Business Community) maintains a commercial space database, and can help you find the perfect spot! Get help finding space here.
I want to fix up my business facade, is there financial help for that? Answer: Yes!  KBC offers a Facade Improvement Program for businesses in a designated district downtown.  They can match your investment dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $5,000.00 for eligible projects.  Visit the KBC webpage to find out more.


Download our handy guide to starting, growing, or bringing you business to Kentville!  How to Grow Your Business In Kentville

Download “Quick Facts” about Kentville to see why Kentville is right for you and your business! Quick Facts!

For a more in depth Community Profile visit the Census Canada page: Census

Kentville Business Community (KBC)

KBC is a proactive private sector-based business development organization committed to support, promote, and grow the Kentville business community.  Read More


Valley Regional Enterprise Network (REN)

Supporting and Connecting Businesses in the Annapolis Valley.  Read More


Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce

Supporting and Promoting Annapolis Valley Business.  Read More


Nova Scotia Business Inc.

NSBI is the business development agency for the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Read More


Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC)

CBDC assists small businesses and in the modernization of existing businesses. See More


Acadia Centre for Social Business & Entrepreneurship

“Everyone, Everywhere recognizing and reaching their entrepreneurial potential” Read More


The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness

Nova Scotia’s business navigators help business owners with business needs such as:

  • Registering a business
  • Determining what permits and licenses are required to operate a business
  • Understanding applicable inspection requirements
  • Finding resources to assist with financing, taxes, staffing and other needs

Read More