Town of Canmore

Business Licenses

If you are conducting business in the Town of Canmore you are required to have a local business license. If you are only working in town for a few days we offer a temporary business license that may suit your needs. Unsure what type of business license you need or what needs to be submitted with your application? To find out click here.

Out of Town Businesses

Any business from out of town is required to have a Town of Canmore business license.

Out of Town Business License Options
Annual License - $600
Four Month License - $350
One Month License - $150
Three Day License - $75
Special Event License - $75/day
To download the out of town business license application form click here
To download the special event license application form click here
*special events licences are for events requiring events permits.

Wedding/family photographers, sub contracts and others should NOT apply for a special events license and instead apply using the pdf out of town business license application (120 KB)
Is a business license needed if my business is not physically located in Canmore?
Yes. A Canmore business license is needed if you are conducting work in the Town of Canmore even if your physical office is not located in town.
How long will it take for my application to be approved?
Business licenses can take 2 - 3 weeks to issue after applying, however can take longer in cases where we do not receive the correct documentation up front. 

Starting a New Local Business

Any business with a permanent address in the Town of Canmore requires a business license to operate. 

Business License Options
Complete the Business Licence Application Form and attach copies of the Trade Name and Lease Agreement documents. (If applicable). Once ALL approvals have been met, the business licence will be issued. 

To download the home based business application form pdf click here (134 KB)
To download the commercial business application form pdf click here
(210 KB)
For assistance applying for your commercial business license, see our pdf new commercial business package (708 KB)
To download the vacation rental application form pdf click here
(143 KB)
To download the vendors license application form pdf click here (24 KB)

Consider your Location
The first thing you should consider is the physical location. The business location you choose has to be zoned for that particular purpose. Prior to signing a lease call the Planning Department at 403.678.1543 to see if that location is approved for your type of business. You may need a Confirmation of Zoning or a Development Permit for a change of use.
Are you doing renovations?
If so, you will likely require a Building Permit. An Occupancy Certificate will be issued once construction is complete. Contact the Planning Department at 403.678.1543 to inquire if a permit is required.
All signage requires a permit
Prior to ordering any signs, refer to the Sign Regulations and complete the "Development Permit Application - Signage" form. Contact: Planning 403.678.1543 -
Automotive Repair or Dealerships
If you are opening an automotive repair shop or dealership you must contact AMVIC and get approval prior to obtaining your Town licence. Contact: 877.979.8100
Food, Salons, Tattoos or other Health Services
You will require a certificate from Alberta Health Services if you are dealing with food, salons, tattoos and other personal health services. Contact: Health Inspector at 403.678.5656 for guidelines and an appointment.
Waste & Recycling Plan
Consider how you are going to manage your waste and recycling and what type of disposal is going to be necessary to operate your business. All restaurants are required to have a grease trap (interceptor) and submit an annual maintenance schedule to Public Works. Contact Public Works at 403.678.1580.
Choosing a Business Name
Did you choose a name for your business. If you are using a name other than your first and last name you must provide the Town with a copy of your Trade Name Registration from the registry office. Contact: Canmore Registry at 104 - 837 Main Street—Phone 403.678.9320.
Fire Inspections
Fire Inspections must be conducted prior to opening your business and ‘all’ applicable approvals listed in Steps 1 to 7 must be met before the fire inspection is done. Set up your appointment 30 days in advance of anticipated opening. To book a fire inspection please call: 403.678.6199 or email both: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Changes to a Business License

Have you made changes to your business recently? Make sure we have the correct information on file for you by updating us

 Changes that need updating:
Contact information change to your email/phone/website, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the update.

If your business name or mailing address has changed, fill out the pdf change of information (191 KB) form and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop it off at the Canmore Civic Centre. 

If your local business is moving locations, fill out the pdf change of information form (191 KB) , and submit it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with proof of residency that associates the business to the new address.

For commercial businesses, this can be your lease agreement or a letter from the building owner.
For home businesses, this can be a copy of your driver's license, other official government ID, utility or tax bill, or lease agreement.
*If you are on title for either your commercial or home space, please indicate so in your application and no additional submission is required.

If you are making changes to the services you offer or your business structure (for example, you are now having clients or employees come to your home), please indicate this in your email.

If you are closing your business in Canmore, please send us an email indicating the date of closure so we can cancel your invoice notices for the following year.

If you have any questions about updates to your business license, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 403.678.1523

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I renew my business license?
Annual licenses are renewed automatically, you will receive an invoice by mail or email depending on how your account is set up with the Town. Payment for the coming years license is due by December 31 of the previous year. You can pay online here, mail a cheque, in person at the Civic Centre, or by calling the Civic Centre at 403.678.1500. For more details on how to make payment, see your invoice.
Who needs a business license?
Any person or business advertising or conducting business in Canmore is required by Town Bylaw to hold a valid business registry license. “Business" is defined as: A commercial, merchandising, marketing or industrial activity. A profession, trade, occupation. Out of town businesses, even if only doing short-term work, examples include photography, sub-contractor work, real estate agents.
What to do if I am a film producer or photographer?
You will need a film permit and a valid business license.

Currently, all commercial (ie. for profit) photoshoots or film productions taking place on Town of Canmore property (parks, streets, walkways, venues) require a permit.

The need for a permit also extends to the use of UAV or drones - whether you are flying or hiring someone to do so.   UAVs and drones are typically not permitted within the Town of Canmore and do have strict guidelines for their use.

Click here to apply for a Film Permit (still/motion/UAV or drone)

If you are a resident with a home occupation as a film producer or photographer, please complete the Home Occupation Application Form.   

If you are a non-resident with a film or photo business and doing work in Canmore on an occasional basis, please complete a Temporary Business LIcence Application, or if you are doing work regularly in Canmore, consider an annual license and complete the Non-Resident Business Application.  See the applications for fee schedules.
Why apply for a business license?
A valid Business License ensures that all businesses and their premises comply with relevant Town bylaws for the safety of the public and to minimize nuisances and misleading business practices. For businesses operating out of a residence within the Town of Canmore, a Development Permit must be obtained from the Town of Canmore Planning and Development Department at the same time that the Business license is obtained. Businesses operating out of a commercial business location are encouraged to contact the Town of Canmore Planning and Development Department prior to entering into purchase or lease agreements to verify compliance with the Land Use Bylaw.
When is a new business license required?
A new Business license is required when a business starts up, changes ownership, relocates, opens other locations or works in the Town of Canmore on a temporary basis. Hawkers, Peddlers and Door to Door sales included.
How long will it take to get my business license?
Processing time for a Business license application depends on the type and complexity of the business. 

Commercial, regional, or home occupation applications with no outstanding bylaw issues can be issued within four weeks from the date the application and supporting documents are received.

Non-resident Business license applications are generally processed within 10 business days.

Once you have submitted your application, the Business Registry Coordinator will get in contact with you if additional information is required.

What does a business license cost?
The business license fee schedule can be viewed pdf here (194 KB) . Business license fees may be paid by cash, cheque, Interac, Master Card or Visa. The first year fee for a Business license may be pro-rated depending on the date that the application is accepted, as licenses (with exception of Home Occupation Class 2's) follow the calendar year. The earliest pro-rate date of each calendar year is July 1. Businesses classified by the Town of Canmore Planning and Development Department as a Home Occupation 2 will renew both their Business license and their Home Occupation Permit at the same time.
How do I report a business operating without a license?
You can call the Business Registry Coordinator to see if a company is licensed to operate in the Town of Canmore, if not, you can leave their company details with the Coordinator and they will get in contact with that business. Non-compliance will result in Bylaw being notified and empowered to issue a violation tag with a fine of up to $1000.

For more information on business licenses, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 403.678.1523

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