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4.3 Getting Permits and Licenses
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Permits and licenses are required to open a business in Calgary. Business Permits are legal permissions to perform certain activities and businesses. In Canada, three government bodies provide permits.

Municipal PermitsProvincial Permits Federal Permits 

The municipal government issues 12 different types of permits for businesses. In Calgary, the City of Calgary is the municipal government

The provincial government of Alberta issues 7 different types of permits for businesses.

The federal government issues 4 different types of permits for businesses. The Government of Canada's government is the main authority with many departments.

  1. Building permit
  2. Charitable organization license
  3. Demolition permit
  4. Development permit
  5. Electric permit
  6. Gas permit
  7. Hoarding permit
  8. Home occupation permit
  9. Mechanical permit (heating, air conditioning)
  10. Ventilation permit
  11. Plumbing permit
  12. Sign permit
  1. Asbestos worker card
  2. Business name registration
  3. Certificate of Inspection (boiler or pressure vessels)
  4. Certificate of operation and construction (elevating devices)
  5. Vehicle registration
  6. Road development application
  7. Sign application
  1. Agreement to implement emoloyment equity
  2. Federal business registration
  3. Federal incorporation of a business
  4. Federal incorporation of a not-for-profit corporation

All businesses must have a Business Name Registration and a Building Permit in Alberta.


Business Licenses

Business licenses legally allow operation of certain trades, which have specific rules called protocols. Some businesses have licenses given or issued by a regulatory organization, not the government.

Businesses that require a Business License to operate in AlbertaOther Licenses and Registrations in Alberta
  1. Auctions
  2. Cemeteries
  3. Charitable fundraisers
  4. Charitable organizations
  5. Collection agencies
  6. Collectors
  7. Cooperatives
  8. Debt repayment agencies
  9. Debt repayment agents
  10. Direct sellers (door to door)
  11. Employment agencies
  12. high-cost credit agencies
  13. Home inspectors
  14. Marketers of gas and/or electric
  15. Payday loan businesses
  16. Prepaid contractors
  17. Retail home sellers
  18. Time-share and poitns sellers
  • All automotive businesses, such as sales, leasing, repair and consignment sales are included in automotive
  • Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council regulates automotive businesses
  • Alberta funeral service regulator board regulates all funeral service businesses
  • All gaming businesses, such as casinos, raffles, bingos, and pull tickets are included in gambling
  • The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission regulates gambling businesses
Real Estate
  • All real estate specialists, such as agents, brokers, mortgage brokers, property managers are included in real estate businesses
  • The Alberta Insurance Council regulates the insurances and real estate businesses


How to get Permits and Licenses?

Step 1

  • Have your business registration certificate
  • Have the address, phone number and email address of the business
  • Have proof of identification (Drivers license, Alberta ID, Passport, PR Card or any other valid picture ID )

Step 2

  • Visit the City of Calgary office, on the 3rd floor of 800 Macleod Tr. SE. Go to the counter area. It is best to book an online appointment with the representative at, or, call 311 for appointments
  • Present the business documents to the representative of the City of Calgary for review
  • The City of Calgary will review the business and inform you of the required permits and licenses
  • Submit forms and fees as advised by the City of Calgary office


  • The City of Calgary will visit the business site for land use approval. This is required for all businesses in Calgary.
  • Home-based businesses must have the Alberta Fire Code Business License. The Calgary Fire Department issues this license. See the Links to Important Websites section