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Business licence - required approvals

After applying for a business licence, outstanding approvals must be completed before the business licence is issued.

A business licence will often have multiple licence types associated with it. Below is a chart of the related licence types that fall under this business activity. If your business requires multiple licence types, approval processes are only generated once per licence. For example, only one fire inspection is required even if multiple licence types require that inspection.​

Land use approval

All businesses in Calgary require land use approval. Each space in a building has its own specified, approved use that cannot be changed without an approval, permit or both. Contact our Planning Services Centre to investigate land use approval for your business.

Calgary Police Services approval

This licence type requires recommendation by the Police Information Check Unit. You are required to provide your full name, address, birth date and proof of identification (government-issued photo ID and one other form of ID). You must show ID at the Planning Services Centre. This approval generally takes about two weeks to complete.

When a business licence requiring a police check is applied for, this approval is automatically initiated and is completed by the Calgary Police Service internally. A police check from the past or from another police agency is not valid.

Fire Prevention Bureau approval

Businesses that operate from commercial premises require an inspection from the Fire Prevention Bureau, before the licence can be issued. You will need your Business Identification (BID) number when you call to book the inspection. You must contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at least five business days prior to your open date to arrange for the inspection. The Fire Prevention Bureau will notify the Licence Division with the results of the inspection.

This inspection must be completed by a Fire Prevention Bureau inspector. A business licence cannot be issued on the basis of an inspection completed by the firefighting division.

Contact 311 to book your inspection. See the Fire Department Business Licence Checklist for inspection requirements.

Alberta Health Services approval

Businesses involved in the sale, preparation, manufacturing or storage of food products must have the location inspected by Alberta Health Services (AHS). The results of the inspection will be provided to the Licence Division, or you can email your inspection to licencedivisionteam@calgary.ca. Contact AHS at 403-943-2296 for your health inspection.

If you have contacted AHS and they have advised you that your business does not require a health inspection, record the name and phone number of the individual you spoke with and provide it to our Planning Services Centre.

Provincial Licensing approval

Certain business activities require provincial licensing. Contact Service Alberta at 1-780-427-4088 (or within Alberta at 1-877-427-4088) for details on obtaining provincial licensing if you are a prepaid contractor or a direct seller.

A prepaid contracting business:

  • Solicits, negotiates or concludes prepaid contracts in person at any place other than the sellers’ place of business, and
  • Accepts money before all of the work is done or the services are provided.

A direct seller:

  • Solicits, negotiates, or concludes sales contracts in person, at any place other than the seller’s place of business.

You can present your provincial licence in person at the Planning Services Centre, fax it directly to the Business Licence Division at 403-537-3034 or email it to licencedivisionteam@calgary.ca.

Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC)

Certain motor vehicle business activities require provincial licensing. You are required to contact the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) at 1-877-979-8100 for details on obtaining your provincial licence. AMVIC requires land use approval before issuing an AMVIC licence. Once you’ve obtained your AMVIC licence, you can present it in person at the Planning Services Centre, fax it directly to 403-537-3034 or email it to licencedivisionteam@calgary.ca.

Photo identification card

In addition to the paper copy of your business licence, a photo identification card is required for your business. This can only be obtained in person at the Planning Services Centre.

Building Regulations heating ventailation air conditioning inspection (HVAC)

Based on the business activities, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) inspection may be required to ensure it meets code requirements. This may require you to install a ventilation system.

To book your inspection, call 403-268-2738, select option 2 and quote your business name or Business Identification (BID) number.

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