Starting a Business in Canada

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Aug 24, 2011 - 2 minute read - legal

How To Apply For A Business License in Calgary

This post is about applying for a business license to operate a business within Calgary. This is different from incorporating a company] or [registering a name for your business][2. Most cities require a license to operate and this is the process to get registered in Calgary.

Most businesses will require a license. In addition to those with a commercial location, this applies to most home based businesses and people that provide a service without a fixed commercial location. If you are in doubt about whether you need a license or not you could check the city’s business registration site. This site will ask you questions about the business you plan on starting and it will give you recommendations as to which license you may need.

The City of Calgary also participates in Industry Canada’s BizPal website.BizPal is an effort to centralize licensing and permitting information for jurisdictions across the country. I find the BizPal website to have a better user experience and I would recommend it over the city’s own system.

The fee for licensing a new business is currently $146 plus any additional fees that your particular business might have to pay. For example a restaurant would have additional fees for fire inspection, police review and planning approval. These other inspections and reviews must be in place before you will be granted a business license.

You can apply for a business license in person, by phone, by mail, by fax or by email. A business license application form can be downloaded in PDF format from the city’s website.