How to Get a Business Licence in Alberta

How to Get a Business Licence in Alberta

Calgary Business Licenses

A business licence is essentially a permit that allows a business to operate on a given premise in a particular municipality. The licence serves as proof to customers that the business is a legitimate establishment that complies with local laws and regulations and is permitted to operate within the municipality. Since business licences are location-specific, each municipality provides different licensing procedures. Depending on where the business is operating, the business owner will need to obtain a business licence from that particular municipality.

Generally, business owners need only concern themselves with the local licensing process.

In most municipalities, businesses are licensed under a category, which allows the municipality to apply appropriate regulations to those specific businesses. Businesses deemed to have potentially negative impacts on the community (such as increased car traffic or noise levels) may need to comply with other regulations in addition to the local business licence.

Depending on how the municipal bylaw is written, the categories of businesses may differ. Typical categories include:

Adult-Oriented Services
Agriculture and Breeding
Entertainment Venue
Home-Based Business
Personal Services
Professional Services
Retail, Sales, and Rentals
Trade and Industrial

If a business does not fit into any of the above mentioned categories, there may be a “general business licence” that is available for application. However, it is strongly recommended that prior to applying for any type of business licence, you should contact the local Planning Service Centre or the local City Hall to ensure you are obtaining the correct business licence.