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:
- Arifin Ahsan at 780-423-7461 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
- 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.
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
|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
(reduced rate for all business licence categories)
|Non-Resident Fee (if you are not an Edmonton resident)||$518|
Fees by Category2016 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|
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|
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|
|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|
|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 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|
|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|
Edmonton Fire Rescue
|Vehicle Sales and Rentals||$225||None|
For More Information
Permits and Licensing Service Centre
5th floor, 10250 - 101 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm
In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311