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Starting a Business

Small Business Open Window Support

Are you a small business owner? Is this your first or second time opening a business? Then make an appointment for one-on-one support to:

  • Understand the development and building permit requirements prior to starting the process
  • Explore location options for your business

To book your Open Window appointment on any Wednesday morning between 8–11am, please contact:

If you are starting a business in Edmonton, you will need a business licence.

A business licence is a good investment. Having a licence shows your customers that you are a legitimate business that complies with local laws and regulations.

Anyone providing goods or services in Edmonton is required to have a licence.

About Business Licences

Business licences are location-specific and you usually need a separate licence for each location from which you operate. Some exemptions to this rule are people who sell their product in a public market, exhibition hall, or are travelling or temporary sales people.

For businesses that hire subcontractors, the subcontractors must have their own business licences.

Moving or Selling the Business

If you change your operations or move your business to a new location, you will need to have your account reviewed to determine if a new development permit or business licence category is required.

Licences are non-transferable. If you sell or close down your business, please contact our office.

Getting a Business Licence

If you need a licence, here are the steps to get one:

Step 1 – Apply for a development permit

Before we can process your business licence, you need to apply for a development permit. Your proposed business will be reviewed by a development planner to determine whether it is allowed under your location’s zoning, which is set by the Zoning Bylaw.

If you will be operating a business out of a home, please submit the Home Based Business Application.

If you are operating out of a commercial or industrial location, please submit the Commercial Development Permit Application.

If the commercial development permit is for a new building that will be larger than 47 sq. metres (506 sq. ft.), or an addition to or an alteration of an existing building that will result in the building being larger than 47 sq. metres (506 sq. ft.), the Abandoned Wells Confirmation Form must be submitted with a printout of the map (or maps) that was used to confirm the absence/presence of abandoned well(s) with the permit application form.

This application form must be submitted with the following documentation:

  • The appropriate checklist:
    • Commercial Industrial Checklist - This checklist is required for construction projects for new buildings and additions
    • Multi-Unit Residential Checklist - This checklist is required for construction projects consisting of 3 or more dwellings for new apartment/condominium buildings/row housing, stacked row housing, etc.
    • Change of Use Checklist - This checklist is required when changing the use within an existing building or site (for example: changing a General Retail Store to a Restaurant)
  • Step 2 – Apply for a business licence

    If you are operating out of a commercial or industrial location, submit this Business Licence Application at the same time as your development permit application. You can also use our online application.

    If you are applying for a Home Based business licence you only need to submit the application you filled out for your development permit.

    Please also remember to submit a Corporate Registry Search from the provincial government if your business is a corporation, and your site and floor plans. You should also check your business licence category to see if you have to submit other documents as well.

    Step 3 – Fees and approval

    Once you have submitted your application and other required documents, you will need to pay your fees before we can process it.

    Once fees are paid, we will process your application. Applications for certain categories of businesses have to be sent to other agencies (such as Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission or Edmonton Fire Rescue) for a recommendation before we can issue a licence. Some applications are forwarded to other agencies simply to notify them of your new business.

    Business licence applications are usually processed in 1-3 weeks, however categories that require recommendations can take longer. Once your application is processed, we will either send your licence in the mail or notify you that your application has been denied.

    Step 4 – Renewal

    Your licence will have an expiry date on it and you must renew before that date – whether you receive a reminder from the City or not – or your licence will expire and you will have to go through all the above steps again.

    To renew your licence, simply visit us in person (10250 - 101 Street NW), renew online or call 311.

    Business Licence Fees

    These charts show what fees you will have to pay as part of your business licence application.

    The consultations required are a list of all the other agencies that we are required to notify about or ask for a recommendation on your business licence application. This allows these other agencies to ensure that your business complies with the laws and regulations that they enforce.

    General Fees

    These fees apply to all business licence applications and are charged in addition to the fee for your particular business licence category.

    2016 Fees Effective February 1, 2016
    Item 2016 Fees
    Service Fee (applied to all applications) $46
    Consultation Fee (per consultation) $72
    Fire Rescue Services Inspection Fee (if required) Low to Medium Risk: $60
    High to Maximum Risk: $180
    Non-Profit Organization
    (reduced rate for all business licence categories)
    $41
    Non-Resident Fee (if you are not an Edmonton resident) $518

    Fees by Category

    2016 Fees Effective February 1, 2016
    Category 2016 Fees Consultations Required
    Adult Theatre $2,236 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue
    After Hours Dance Club $595 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    After Hours Dance Event $373 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    Alcohol Sales [Consumption Off-Premises] $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
    Alcohol Sales [Consumption On-Premises/Minors Allowed] $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
    Alcohol Sales [Consumption On-Premises/Minors Prohibited] $595 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
    Amusement Establishment $225 Fire Rescue Services
    Auction Establishment $225 Fire Rescue Services
    Bed And Breakfast $225 Alberta Health Services
    Bingo Establishment $459

    Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission

    Body Rub Centre $761 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    Body Rub Practitioner $225 Edmonton Police Service

    Carnival

    a) if 25 or more shows, games or rides: $1,781/day to a maximum of $17,808 a year

    b) if less than 25 shows, games or rides: $748

    Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    Casino Establishment $2,983 Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
    Commercial Leasing $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Commercial Schools $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Construction Vehicle and Equipment Sales/Rentals $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Delivery/Transportation Services $72/vehicle None
    Escort $225 Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services
    Escort Agency $5,967 Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services
    Escort Agency (Independent) $1,061 Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services
    Exhibition Hall $225 Fire Rescue Services
    Exotic Entertainer $225 Alberta Health Services
    Exotic Entertainment Agency $5,967 Edmonton Police Service
    Exotic Entertainment Venue $544 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    Farmers' Market $225 Fire Rescue Services
    Festival $225 None
    Firearm and Ammunition Dealer $225 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Flea Market $459 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Flea Market Vendor $51 None
    Food Processing $225 Alberta Health Services
    Funeral, Cremation, and Cemetery Services $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    General Business $225 None
    General Contractor $225 None
    General Industrial $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Health Enhancement Centre $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    Health Enhancement Centre (Independent) $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    Health Enhancement Practitioner $87 None
    Home-Based Business $50 None
    Livestock Operation $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Major Retail Store $459 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Minor Retail Store $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Participant Recreation Services $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Pawn Shop $459 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Personal Service Shop $225 None
    Rental Accommodation $225 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Restaurant or Food Service $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services
    Second Hand Store $459 Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Small Animal Breeding and Boarding Establishment $459 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Spectator Entertainment Establishment $459 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Tobacco Sales $459 Health Canada
    Travelling or Temporary Sales $225 None
    Travelling or Temporary Sales (1-3 day licence) $51 None
    Travelling or Temporary Food Sales $225 Alberta Health Services
    Travelling or Temporary Food Sales (1-3 day licence) $51 Alberta Health Services
    Vehicle Fuelling Station $225 Edmonton Fire Rescue
    Vehicle Repair $225

    Edmonton Fire Rescue

    Vehicle Sales and Rentals $225 None

    For More Information

    Permits and Licensing Service Centre

    Sustainable Development
    5th floor, 10250 - 101 Street
    Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday to Friday
    8am to 4:30pm

    Telephone

    In Edmonton: 311

    Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

    Fax 780-496-6054