Pet Care and Services - business guide
A business that cares for, boards, breeds or sells animals requires a municipal business licence.
Examples of businesses that do require municipal licensing:
- Pet daycares, boarding
- Breeding animals
- Selling animals
- Pet training
- Pet stores
Examples of businesses that do not require municipal licensing:
- Dog walking*
- Animal grooming*
- Veterinary clinics where animals are only kept on the premises while receiving medical treatment
- A person who owns three or fewer animals kept as personal pets and sells no more than one litter of offspring from each animal in any calendar year
- The Calgary Humane Society
- Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
* A business licence is required for doggy day cares, animal day cares, groomers, animal walkers, etc. when the licensee kennels one or more animals for any length of time at the place of business, commercial or home-based.
* A business licence is not required for animal walkers who pick-up an animal from the owner for the sole purpose of walking the animal and returning the animal to the owner immediately afterward. A business licence is not required for grooming and caring for an animal, if the grooming or care takes place at the animal owner’s premises.
If your business does not require a licence, you still require a Business ID and land use approval. Visit businesses not requiring a municipal licence for more information.
Rules and regulations
Home-based animal boarding
Generally discouraged by The City due to the potential impacts on the surrounding community. Home-based businesses applying for a kennel service/pet dealer licence are subject to review prior to approval.
Kennel service/pet dealer businesses must keep a record, written or electronic, that permanently and legibly has the following information:
- The name and address of the supplier for each animal purchased.
- The date of purchase.
- A full description of the animal.
- The name and address of the buyer of each animal.
- The date of each sale.
A kennel service/pet dealer must:
- Not erase, deface or alter an entry in the record kept, pursuant to the list above.
- Not direct or allow any person to erase, deface or alter an entry in the record, pursuant to the list above.
- Immediately provide on demand the record kept, pursuant to the list above, to a licence inspector.
Consider your required approvals
Once you apply for your 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 all 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.
|Licence Type||Land use||Police||Fire||Health||Provincial||AMVIC||ID card|
|Kennel Service/Pet Dealer||Required||Not required||Required||Not required||Not required||Not required||Not required|
|Retail Dealer - Premises||Required||Not required||Required||Not required||Not required||Not required||Not required|
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.
You can also refer to Commercial, industrial and mulit-residential for more information, or contact our Planning Services Centre at 403-268-5311 to investigate land use approval for your business.
Most businesses that operate from commercial premises require an inspection from the Fire Prevention Bureau before the licence can be issued. However, if a business licence is for one, or any combination, of the low fire-risk licence types, it can be issued if only the Fire approval is outstanding. Low fire-risk businesses will require to get the fire inspection within 30 days of their licence being issued.
Before you book your inspection, you must be ready for business, which means:
- Applicants must be in possession of the space/site
- The business is ready to serve customers (e.g. shelves are stocked and fixtures are in place)
It can take up to five business days for an inspector to visit the space, therefore you should call one week prior to being ready for business. See the Fire Department Business Licence Checklist to see what is required for your inspection.
The Fire Prevention Bureau will notify the Licence Division with the results of the inspection.
This inspection must be performed by the Fire Prevention Bureau inspectors. This approval is in addition to any inspection done by the firefighting division, such as the occupancy inspection completed on your building permit.
For business licence fees, see the Business Licence Fee Schedule. The business licence fee schedule is broken down by licence type. If your business requires multiple licence types, the highest category fee will be charged.
These fees do not include the costs related to required permits to meet land use approval, or any third-party approvals or inspections that may be required to obtain your licence.
How to apply
If you need help when completing your application Live Chat with us, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Obtaining your business licence
A business license will be issued when all outstanding approvals are complete. If you wish to inquire about the status of your licence, please contact the Planning Call Centre at 403-268-5311.
The authorized business licence will be sent to the applicant in the mail, or if requested, can be held at our permit pick-up counter. When a commercial business is operational, the physical copy of your business licence must be posted in a highly visible location where the public can easily see it.
If you intend to make any changes to your business after receiving your licence, please visit Manage your business for more information.
How long is my licence good for?
Business licences expire one year from the issuance date. Forty-five days before the licence expires, a notice is mailed out advising the licensee of the expiry date. Any outstanding fines must be paid prior to renewal.
Business ownership changes
A business licence or business ID is not transferable from one person to another or from one person's business premises to another.
A business operating from more than one location requires a separate business licence for each premises.
Licence type combinations
To ensure the proper approvals are generated for a business, multiple licence types may be attached to a single business licence. For example, a cabinet maker would require a manufacturer licence type; if the business is also installing the cabinets, a contractor licence type is required. Both licence types will appear on the same business licence document and only one renewal will be required.
All charitable organizations must be associated with another licenced business activity. Approval must be granted by the province before applying for a municipal licence.
Businesses not eligible for a charity status:
- Alcohol beverage sales
- Tobacco retailer
All fundraising activity is governed by the charitable fundraising act. Charitable organizations that are only fundraising should contact Service Alberta, Consumer Services at 1-780-427-4088 or 1-877-427-4088.
All applicants for this licence type should first consult with the province about eligibility for this designation and register their business, prior to applying for a municipal business licence. Contact Service Alberta at 1-780-427-4088 (or toll free in Alberta only at 1-877-427-4088) for more information.
Planning Services Centre
We are experiencing higher than normal volumes and longer wait times. We appreciate your patience while our agents answer your questions and review your applications.
If you are trying to reach us, please select only one method of contact for your inquiry. Multiple inquiry services at the same time can increase volumes and wait times. For applications, we encourage the use of our online system as the timelines for drop-off and online submissions are the same.
Monday - Friday*
8 a.m. - 4:15p.m. (Mountain Time Zone)
*closed on statutory holidays
COVID-19 changes to services