A checklist for obtaining your business licence
To process a business licence application, The City of Calgary Licence Division requires the applicant to obtain a number of approvals from regulating public authorities.
Please note: Without a valid business licence, contractors are NOT able to obtain construction permits.
Development & Building Approvals
All businesses operating from a commercial location or a residence must contact Inspection & Permit Services to confirm the intended activities of your business are permitted at a specific location. You will need to provide an overview of your intended business activities and the exact address from which you will be operating. With this information, the required Use Approval application type will be determined and you'll be provided a complete application requirements list and any necessary forms to complete. If a building permit is required, you must also obtain an Occupancy Permit. Once you have obtained the completed Application for Occupancy, please call the Calgary Planning Services Centre to update your business license for issuance.
Occupancy is the use, or intended use, of a space as defined by the Alberta Building Code. The Occupancy Permit is only issued after all of the inspectors have signed off on the project. During the course of construction, the contractor should have called the City inspectors as required to review the progress of the work. The Building Inspector will leave an Application for Occupancy form behind. At the final inspection, the City and Fire inspectors will sign off their acceptance. The Building Inspector will issue an Occupancy Permit once all of the inspectors have signed off on the project. New businesses will need to arrange for a Business License after they have received their Occupancy Permit.
Alberta Health Services (AHS)
Businesses involved in the sale of food or food products must have the location or facility from which the food or food product is being prepared or sold inspected by AHS. The results of the inspection will be provided to the Licence Division by AHS.
Fire Department - Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB)
All businesses which operate from a premises, except for many home-based businesses, require an inspection from the Fire Prevention Bureau before the licence can be issued. You must contact the FPB to arrange for the inspection. The FPB will notify the Licence Division with the results of the inspection. (A business licence cannot be issued on the basis of an inspection completed by the firefighting unit. The inspection must be completed by the Fire Prevention Bureau Inspectors.)
The Fire Prevention Bureau inspection fee is independent from the business licence fee. This fee is collected at the time of application for your business licence and is non-refundable. You can visit the Calgary Fire Department website for more information on the inspection fee.
Calgary Police Service - Police Information Check Unit
Some categories of licences require the Licence Division to consult with the Calgary Police Service prior to issuing a licence. You are required to provide us with your full name, address, birth date and proof of identification in the form of government-issued picture identification such as a driver's licence and one other form of identification. These must be presented in person to The City of Calgary Customer Advisory Services in the Municipal Plaza Building, 3rd floor counter, 800 Macleod Tr SE, Calgary. Personal information collected for the purpose of processing a licence application will be shared with the Calgary Police Service.
Effective May 1, 2005, there is a Calgary Police Service review fee independent from the business licence fee. This fee is collected at the time of application for your business licence and is non-refundable.
Service Alberta – Consumer Contact Centre
1-780-427-4088 or 1-877-427-4088 toll free in Alberta only.
For certain categories of businesses we must be able to verify that the business holds a provincial licence before the City licence can be issued. You can present your provincial licence to our Customer Service staff as proof of meeting provincial licensing requirements or we can contact Service Alberta – Consumer Contact Centre and verify your provincial licence is in place.
Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC)
Businesses such as motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicle repair services and auto body shops must contact the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) to obtain their provincial licence.
Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC)
Businesses selling alcoholic beverages must also obtain a liquor licence from the AGLC. The AGLC licence will not be issued until such time as the Alcohol Beverage Sales licence has been issued by The City. You are required to provide the AGLC with proof that your City business licence has been issued.
For additional information please contact the following:
The City of Calgary Business Taxes division, Phone 3-1-1 or see Business Tax.
A private registry office for
- Corporate registry
- Trade name registration
- Partnership registration
- Goods and Services Tax (G.S.T.) registration
Rm. 150, 220 - 4 Av SE (Harry Hays Building) Calgary