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Manage your business

This is information about fees, inspections and making changes to a business already registered with The City of Calgary.

Your existing business should be registered and have a Business ID number. If you have not yet registered your business, please visit start a business. For general information on starting a business, please visit Business 101.

How to apply


Step 1: Know what you're managing

Determine if you are:

Step 2: Know the rules

If your business is changing location, ownership or category, there are many factors that can impact your decision. The Planning Services Centre​ can help determine if a location is suitable for your business and what approvals you may need for the new site. See the applicable business categories​ to learn the rules, the fees and other information that will apply to your business.


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Contact the Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311.

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Step 3: Apply

Manage your business online

To apply in-person, visit the Planning Services Centre. To skip the line, book and appointment online.

Step 4: Complete your approvals

See your applicable business guide​ for required approvals. For information about inspection requirements, and to submit third party approvals for your pending application, see Licence inspections.

Information about managing a business


Renewals

Business licence renewals

Renewing a business license

To remain active, business licences require an annual renewal payment. We will mail an invoice to you before payment is due, giving 45 days advance notice. Your payment method determines when we receive the funds, so please allow sufficient processing time.

If a licence is not renewed, it will expire. When a licence expires, it cannot be reinstated, and full fees will be charged to apply for a new licence.

Payment options:

Online renewal
To renew your licence online, sign into your myID business account and manage your business at apply.calgary.ca/managebusiness​.

If you do not have a myID business account, you will have to create one first.

Online banking
Please note the following items from your invoice; they are required for online payment:

  • Payee: when setting up the payee on your online banking, choose payee CALGARY (CITY OF) - CORPORATE INVOICE. Please note that different banks may have a different variation of the spelling, e.g. Calgary (City): Corporate Invoice. If you are not sure that you selected the correct payee, confirm with the bank.
  • Payee account number: some banks or institutions may refer to this as the accounts receivable number (A/R#). Use your customer number on the invoice. If you are unable to find your customer number, contact the Planning Services Centre.

In person
Planning Services Centre
Third floor, Municipal Building
800 Macleod Tr S.E. Calgary, Alberta

Mail - please include Business ID
The City of Calgary
Licence Division
PO Box 2100 Station M (#8043)
Calgary, AB T2P 2M5

Business licence fees

When setting up a new licence, applicable fees apply. Fees are based on the licence type and whether the business is home-based or commercial-based. Business licence fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Fees are subject to change the next calendar year.

2019 Business Licence Fee Schedule

Home Occupation Class 2 renewals

To renew your Home Occupation Class 2, sign into your myID business account and manage your business online at apply.calgary.ca/managebusiness​. If you do not have a myID business account, you will have to create one first.

Changes to your existing business

Moving or changing addresses

Apply to move your business

Location

If you are considering moving your business there are many factors that can impact your decision. The Planning Services Centre can help you determine if a location is suitable for your business and what approvals you may need for the new site.

When you are ready to apply to move your business:

  • Apply online at apply.calgary.ca/managebusiness by signing into your myID Business account. If you do not have a myID business account, you will have to create one first.

OR

Fees

Business licences and approvals are location-specific. When you move a business, it’s like a new licence application; fees will be charged at the new licence rate and new inspections and approvals are required.

2019 Business Licence Fee Schedule

Change of mailing address, no change of physical location

If you are only changing your mailing address and not the physical location, an update can be done to your business licence free of charge:

  • Apply online at apply.calgary.ca/managebusiness by signing into your myID Business account. If you do not have a myID business account, you will have to create one first.

OR

Business name or ownership change

Please notify us if your business changes ownership. In some instances, a new business licence is required.

Please advise of changes through one of these two options:

Adding/removing a partner

If you are adding or removing a partner from an existing partnership, the business is required to submit a letter signed by all owners.

Adding/removing a director

When a director is added to or deleted from a corporation, the customer must provide a copy of a corporate registry search showing the current directors or a copy of the filed notice of directors obtained from an Alberta Registry.

Amalgamation

An amalgamation is the merging of two or more businesses into a single legal entity or ownership. This requires a copy of the Certificate of Amalgamation, including the registry forms, to ensure the change is current.

Purchased/sold a business (change of ownership)

When a business changes ownership, the existing business licence must be closed and a new one must be created for the new owner. The individual(s) purchasing the business are required to set up a new licence​. The individual(s) selling the business must close their licence.

Corporate entity name change (amendment)

When a corporate entity legally changes (amends) its name, The City requires a copy of the Certificate of Amendment.

Corporation is formed (incorporation) or dissolved

Home-based business only:

If a sole proprietor changes to a corporation (and is the only director) or a partnership changes to a corporation (and those partners become the only directors), copies of the certificate of incorporation showing the directors must be provided to The City.

If a home-based corporation is dissolved to a sole proprietor or a partnership, with the corporate director(s) forming the new owners, documentation showing the changes must be provided to The City, to update the business licence.

Commercial-based business only:

If a sole proprietor or partnership changes to a corporation, a new business licence is required. All associated approvals and inspections for the business location and all applicable fees are required to obtain the new licence.

If a commercial-based corporation is dissolved, a new business licence is required. All associated approvals and inspections for the business location and all applicable fees are required to obtain the new licence.

Corporation taken over

Takeover means acquiring control of a corporation by stock purchase or exchange. The directors and shareholders may or may not change.

This includes corporations that add the year to its corporate title. For example, 123456 Alberta Ltd. is a different corporate entity than 123456 Alberta (1996) Ltd.

This also includes a completely different corporation taking over another. For example, Coal Inc. is taken over by a new owner, Coal Springs Investments Inc. This is a new ownership and a new business.

The existing business licence must be closed and a new one must be created for the new owner. The individual(s) purchasing the business are required to set up a new licence and the individual(s) selling the business must close the business licence.

Trade name change

Changes to a trade name do not require a new licence, as long as ownership remains the same.

Close a business

Please let The City know if you are no longer operating, intend to close, or have sold your business. If a licence is not renewed, it will expire. Once a licence expires, it cannot be reinstated, and full fees will be charged for a new licence.

Obtaining a business licence copy

Lost or damaged licences

If your licence is lost or damaged and you require a new copy, replacement licence fees apply.

Licence not received in mail

Please allow about two weeks to receive your licence in the mail. If you have not received it within this timeframe, please contact the Planning Services Centre​ to request a duplicate copy.

Licence inspections

Inspections may be required as part of the initial licence approval. If you are in a commercial business location, a business licence fire inspection will be required by the Fire Prevention Bureau. Certain commercial businesses, based on activities, will also require a mechanical inspection for the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to ensure adequate ventilation. If your business deals with food for human consumption, or products/services relating to human health, you may need an inspection by Alberta Health Services. Certain licences may also require a licence inspector or a police officer to inspect the business location.

After the licence is issued, subsequent annual inspections may be carried out by any one of the regulatory bodies. Unscheduled inspections may also be initiated by public concern or at the discretion of the licence inspectors.

For specific requirements for your business, including those not covered here, please visit calgary.ca/mybusiness or contact the Planning Services Centre.

The City of Calgary inspections, processes and approvals

Business licence fire inspection

Businesses that operate from commercial premises require a Fire Prevention Bureau inspection before a licence can be issued. The licence must have been applied for and a unique business identification (BID) number is required to book the inspection. 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 the Fire Prevention Bureau inspectors. A business licence cannot be issued on the basis of an inspection completed by the firefighting division.

HVAC inspection

A heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system safety inspection ensures that it meets code requirements. This inspection is based on business activities. It may require you to install a ventilation system if there is none or upgrade the existing system if it is inadequate.

Calgary Police Services approval

The Calgary Police Service conducts a security check for certain licence types. To complete a security check, business owners or directors must provide their full name, address, birth date and proof of identification (government-issued photo identification and one other form of identification). This approval takes about two weeks to complete.

When a police check is required, approval is automatically initiated and completed by the Calgary Police Service. A prior police check, or one from another police agency cannot be used to replace this one.

Land use approval

All businesses in Calgary require land use approval. Each space in a building has its own specified, approved use. The use of that space cannot be changed without an approval, permit or both. The Planning Services Centre can help you find out what type of planning approval is required for your business.

Third party approvals

Provincial licensing approval

Certain business activities, such as payday lenders, prepaid contractors and direct sellers, require provincial licensing. These are governed by the province and the licence application and requirements are the responsibility of the business applying. Please visit Service Alberta consumer licences or call 1-877-427-4088.

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 licencedivisionteam@calgary.ca.

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.

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.

Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC)

The AGLC administers the regulations and policies relating to alcohol and gaming in the province. Businesses associated with alcohol licences or involved in gaming should contact the AGLC to obtain proper provincial licensing, in addition to any City licence.

Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council

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

How do I arrange for inspections?

At the time of your business licence application, you will be told what inspections and approvals are required based on what type of business you are operating and from what location.

To arrange for inspections or discuss approvals

  • Planning Services Centre - 403-268-5311
    • Discuss licencing and land use approval requirements.
    • Building permit (where applicable) and occupancy permit requirements.
    • Update on external inspections (Alberta Health Services, Service Alberta, AMVIC).
  • Calgary Fire Department - Fire Prevention Bureau (contact via 311 or 403-268-2489)
    • Book your business licence fire inspection (when in a commercial business location). Visit the fire inspections and investigations page for information on what is inspected and required.
  • Building Regulations HVAC Inspections (call 403-268-5311)
    • Book HVAC inspection for your business.

Other contacts for inspections and approvals (Provincial government)

Licence violations, penalties, review hearings and appeals

A licence inspector may fine a business or suspend its licence if found to be operating without a licence, operating contrary to licence conditions or failing to fulfill licence requirements. A licence inspector can also issue a violation ticket that requires a court appearance from the business owner.

Paying for a licence violation ticket

Licence violation tickets (i.e. licence fines) can be mailed to The Provincial Court of Alberta:

Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary Court Centre
Suite 203S, 601 5 St. S.W.
Calgary, AB T2P 5P7

NOTE: Cheques must be made payable to The Provincial Court of Alberta.

Licence violation penalties

Penalties for licence violations and the minimum fines can be found in the applicable Business Licence Bylaw.

Licence review hearings

Licence review hearings are held for non-recommendations, alleged breaches of The City’s business licence bylaws, including inappropriate behaviour, breaches of statutes, criminal activity or ongoing complaints. The outcome may result in licence refusal, conditions, revocation or suspension.

Licence appeals

To appeal a licence review hearing decision, such as refusal to grant a licence, imposed conditions, revocation or suspension of a licence, file an appeal to the Calgary Licence and Community Standards Appeal Board for a public hearing on the issue.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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