A business licence is a good investment. Having a licence shows your customers that you are a legitimate business that complies with local laws and regulations. Anyone providing goods or services in Edmonton is required to have a licence.
Business licences are location-specific and you usually need a separate licence for each location from which you operate. Some exemptions to this rule are people who sell their product in a public market, exhibition hall, or are travelling or temporary sales people (for example, door-to-door).
For businesses that hire subcontractors, the subcontractors must have their own business licences.
Licences must be renewed annually. A renewal notice/bill will be sent to the address on your licence one month before your licence expires.
The renewal fee must be paid by the date listed on the notice otherwise your licence will expire and you will have to stop your business operations until you get a new licence.
Moving or Selling the Business
If you change your operations or move your business to a new location, you will need to have your account reviewed to determine if a new development permit or business licence category is required.
Licences are non-transferable. If you sell or close down your business, please contact our office.
If you need a licence, here are the steps to get one:
Step 1 – Apply for a development permit
Before we can process your business licence, you need to apply for a development permit. Your proposed business will be reviewed by a development planner to determine whether it is allowed under your location’s zoning, which is set by the Zoning Bylaw.
If you will be operating out of a home, please submit the Home Based Business Application.
Commercial Development Permit
If you are operating out of a commercial or industrial location, please submit the Commercial Development Permit Application.
If the commercial development permit is for a new building that will be larger than 47 sq. metres (506 sq. ft.), or an addition to or an alteration of an existing building that will result in the building being larger than 47 sq. metres (506 sq. ft.), the Abandoned Wells Confirmation Form must be submitted with a printout of the map(s) that was used to confirm the absence/presence of abandoned well(s) with the permit application form.
This application form must be submitted with the following documentation:
The appropriate checklist:
- Commercial Industrial Checklist - This checklist is required for construction projects for new buildings and additions
- Multi-Unit Residential Checklist - This checklist is required for construction projects consisting of 3 or more dwellings for new apartment/condominium buildings/row housing, stacked row housing
- Change of Use Checklist - This checklist is required when changing the use within an existing building or site (for example, changing a General Retail Store to a Restaurant)
Note: All applicants should speak to a Safety Codes Officer at the Edmonton Service Centre to verify any Building Permit requirements for their proposed business.
Step 2 – Apply for a business licence
If you are operating out of a commercial or industrial location, you should submit this Business Licence Application at the same time as your development permit application. You can also use our online application.
If you are applying for a Home Based business licence you only need to submit the application you filled out for your development permit.
Non-resident business licences
A person or business that does not have a permanent base of operations in either a home or commercial location within Edmonton but are working in the city must pay a Non-Resident Licence Fee.
They must also complete and send in the Non-Resident Business Application form, and submit other relevant licence fees based on their business category.
Please also remember to submit a from the provincial government if your business is a corporation, and your site and floor plans. You should also check your business licence category to see if you have to submit other documents as well.
Step 3 – Fees and approval
Once you have submitted your application and other required documents, you will need to pay your fees before we can process it.
Once fees are paid, we will process your application. Applications for certain categories of businesses have to be sent to other agencies (like the Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission or Edmonton Fire Rescue) for a recommendation before we can issue a licence. Some applications are forwarded to other agencies simply to notify them of your new business.
Business licence applications are usually processed in 1-3 weeks, however categories that require recommendations can take longer. Once your application is processed, we will either send your licence in the mail or notify you that your application has been denied.
Step 4 – Renewal
Your licence will have an expiry date on it and you must renew before that date – whether you receive a reminder from the City or not – or your licence will expire and you will have to go through all the above steps again.
Fees are based on different types of Business Licence categories. Please refer to the Business Licence Fees below:
Business Licence Fees 2019
(effective February 1, 2019)
The consultations required are a list of all the other agencies that we are required to notify about or ask for a recommendation on your business licence application. This allows these other agencies to ensure that your business complies with the laws and regulations that they enforce.
Edmonton Business Licence Ambassador Program
The Edmonton Business Licence Ambassadors are visiting various businesses in the City to educate them about business licences and how to get them as part of the Open for Business program. Ambassadors will provide information to businesses and will assist with provision and completion of application forms and provide a point of contact for any further questions.
Having a business licence lets the public know that the business is legitimate, complies with local laws and regulations, and is conducting business activities in appropriate locations.