Town of Canmore

Business License FAQ

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 or undertaking
- A profession, trade, occupation, calling or employment
- An activity providing goods or services, whether or not for profit and however organized or formed, including a co-operative or association of persons

“Carry On Business" is defined as operate, perform, keep, hold, occupy, deal in or use, for gain, whether as principal or agent.
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 do I apply for a Business license?
Business license applications may be submitted at the Town of Canmore Civic Center Reception location as well as by email, fax and mail. The Business Registry Coordinator will contact the applicant regarding the application, the business classification and the fees.

Business license applications will only be processed after compliance with the Land Use Bylaw is confirmed. Depending on the nature of the business, additional approval from Environmental Services, AMVIC, Calgary Health Authority or the RCMP may also be required. Contact the Busisness Registry Coordinator for further information.

pdf Click here to download (203 KB) a residential business registry application.
How long will it take to receive the Business license?
Processing time for a Business license application depends on the type and complexity of the business.

Resident, Home Occupation or B&B Business licenses with no outstanding bylaw issues can be issued within three to four weeks from the date the application was received. Non-resident Business license applications are generally processed within three business days.

For more information please contact the Business Registry Coordinator.
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. 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.
Types of licenses
There are generally six types of business registry licenses:

Resident businesses have a permanent commercial location in Canmore. These businesses operate from offices, retail locations, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities.

Home Occupation 1 are for a Desk & Telephone business that operates out of your residence.

Home Occupation 2 are for a small business that operates out of your residence. They require a Development Permit through the Planning and Development Department before a Business license may be issued.

Non-resident businesses operate in Canmore on a temporary basis. These businesses may include building trades contractors, security companies or businesses that have no fixed business location in Canmore.

Bed & Breakfast is similar to a home occupation. A Bed & Breakfast Development Permit is required by the Planning and Development Department before a Business license may be issued.

Special Service licenses are available to out-of-town businesses which provide unique services which cannot be offered by a local provider.
BizPaL - Your First Stop

Your first stop to find out what you need to start your business in the Town of Canmore is a visit to BizPaL. After providing some generic information about your proposed business, BizPaL will provide you with a customized list of municipal, provincial and federal permits and licenses required for that business.

This unique partnership is the result of strong collaboration between the federal, provincial/territorial and local governments and is designed to cut through the paperwork burden and red tape that small business owners encounter.

Finding out which government requirements apply to a certain business type can be time consuming and frustrating. BizPaL was created to help identify what you may require, quickly and easily. The information you need is available from a single source; entrepreneurs spend less time dealing with red tape – saving effort and money in the process – and more time building their business.

The service is the result of combined efforts by the federal, provincial/territorial and participating municipal governments and is designed with the following benefits in mind:

It's free to use
It saves time
It’s available 24/7