Town of Canmore

Business Licenses

If you are conducting business within the Town of Canmore on a temporary or long-term basis, a Canmore business license must be obtained prior to operating.  For limited exemptions, please consult the pdf business registry bylaw (253 KB) .  Business owners are responsible for operating in compliance with the Business Registry, and other related Bylaws. Visit this link for a list of commonly requested bylaws. 

If you are a member of the public seeking a business to fulfill a project or other need, you have access to our business directory which features businesses who have given consent to be published.


Business Licenses

Out of Town / Non-Resident Business License
Any business based outside of the Town of Canmore, excluding the MD of Bighorn, is required to obtain a Non-Resident business license to conduct work within the Town of Canmore. 

Are you a photographer or filmmaker? If you are shooting on Town property, a film permit is required.  Please submit your business license application, film permit application and certificate of insurance to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for processing. Click here for details. 

Non-Resident Business License Fees:

Annual License - $600*
6-Month License - $300
3-Month License - $200

1-Month License - $150
3-Day License - $75

Applications must include:

1. Application form (Fillable PDF).  This document also includes the property list for property managers and film permit application for photographers and videographers.

Notes:

* The annual fee of a new license is pro-rated on July 1 and Oct. 1 in the first year.

Average processing time for complete applications is up to 10 business days.

Other Permits:
For other business-related information, please see Other Documents and Permits.

For electrical, gas, plumbing, and related permits, visit Alberta Safety Codes.

Located within the MD of Big Horn (i.e. Harvie Heights, Exshaw, Lac Des Arcs or Deadman’s Flats)? Apply for a Regional Business License.
Regional Business License
If your business is based within the MD of Bighorn, which includes Harvie Heights, Exshaw, Deadman's Flats and Lac Des Arcs, and would like to provide services within the town of Canmore, our local rates extend to you with our Regional business license as per the current municipal services agreement. A Regional business license only permits you to provide services in Canmore and does not extend beyond town boundaries. This inter-municipal agreement is subject to change without advanced notice.

Annual License - $130

Micro-Business - $32.50*

Application must include the following:

1.  Application form (Fillable PDF)
2.  Proof of residence: A photo of driver's license, copy or signed rent agreement, or utility/other bill with your name, address, and recent date.

Notes:

*Micro-business status is applicable only to Regional businesses that earn less than $30,000 in annual gross revenue (ie. Revenue before any expenses are paid). Supporting documentation may be requested.

· The annual fee of a new license is pro-rated on July 1 and Oct. 1 in the first year.

· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.

· For other business-related information, please see Other Documents & Permits.

Home Occupation Business License (Canmore Residents Only)
This business license type applies to those who operate their business from their primary residence in Canmore. This would also apply to Canmore-based e-commerce/online businesses and mobile businesses such as massage therapists who provide in client-home services; hair stylists who rent a chair at a salon, or other similar contract workers.  For more information on class-1 and class-2 home occupations, click here.

Annual License - $130
Micro-Business - $32.50*

Application must include the following:

1.  pdf Application form (1.26 MB)
(Fillable PDF)

2. Certificate of Incorporation, if applicable.
3. Proof of residence: If you are renting or otherwise do not appear on the title, submit a photo of your driver's license, or a copy of your signed rent agreement.
4. Town of Canmore Planning approval (if applicable): The business license application includes a prompt to connect with the Planning Department if your response is "yes" to certain questions.  If you answer "yes" to any of those questions, you are required to verify your home occupation as a class-1 or class-2 home occupation via the Planning Department
- Class-1? Submit a copy of Planning's communication advising this to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Class-2? Submit a copy of your Development Permit and Schedule A. To initiate the process with Planning, click here.

Notes:

*Micro-business status is applicable only to Canmore-based businesses that earn less than $30,000 in annual gross revenue (ie. Revenue before any expenses are paid). Supporting documentation may be requested.

· The annual fee of a new license is pro-rated on July 1 and Oct. 1 in the first year.

· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.

· For other business-related information, please see Other Documents & Permit.

Resident Commercial Business License (Using Commercial or Industrial Space in Canmore)
This business license type applies to those who operate their business out of a commercial or industrial property in Canmore.  For an overview, review pdf this information package (163 KB) .  If you are running a vacation rental / short-term rental, see the section "Vacation Rentals and B&Bs".

Annual License – Fees vary. See Schedule A of the Business Registry Bylaw for fees.

Application must include the following:


1.  pdf Application form (1.37 MB)  (Fillable PDF)
2.  Certificate of Incorporation, if applicable
3.  Lease agreement: If your business does not own the property, provide a copy of your lease agreement. 
4.  Town of Canmore Planning approval: The Planning Department determines if the nature of your business is permitted to operate from any property Canmore. This needs to be verified before you can obtain a business license.  Please contact Planning.  
· Planning Permit required? Submit a copy of your permit with your business license application. e.x. Development Permit and Schedule A.  
· No Planning permit required? Submit a copy of Planning's communication advising this to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Notes:

· The annual fee of a new license is pro-rated on July 1 and Oct. 1 in the first year.

· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.

· For other business-related information, please see Other Documents & Permit.
Business License Exemption
Provincial legislation and regulations allow for certain professions, trades, and businesses to be exempt from municipal licensing. Businesses that fall under this exemption may voluntarily register for a business license.  These businesses must only provide services within the scope of their professional designation to qualify for an exemption.  To determine if you qualify for an exemption, consult with your designated professional association or governing Act.

Voluntary Annual License – $50

Application must include the following:


1.  Application package appropriate to your business type. See the list above for options.
2. Letter of exemption from your professional association or regulatory body, or source the governing Act applicable to your business with your submission.

If your business holds a contract with the Town of Canmore and is not providing services elsewhere in town, please indicate this in your submission.

Notes:

· This annual fee is not pro-rated.

· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.

· For other business-related information, please see Other Documents & Permit.


Vacation Rentals and B&Bs

Overview (Please Read)
If you manage a short-term or vacation rental property or run a bed and breakfast, a business license must be obtained from the Town of Canmore. If you own a vacation rental that is being managed by a third party, that third party company requires the business license.

As the property manager, you only require one business license to cover all of your rental properties within Canmore.  If your vacation rental is a part of a building's rental pool, the building's property management company has a business license to cover all rentals that they manage as part of this pool.  No additional business license is required. 


For information on zoning, Planning permits, and permissions, please click here

For other business-related information, please see Other Documents & Permits.

Other requirements outside of the jurisdiction of the Town of Canmore to take into consideration:

1. Collecting and remitting the Alberta Hotel Tax. Visits Alberta Treasury Board and Finance for information
2. Collecting and remitting GST. Visit Canada Revenue Agency for information
3. Inspection and cleaning of hot tubs, where applicable.  Contact Environmental Public Health (Calgary Zone).
Short-term and vacation rentals

This business license is for your rental management company, whether that is a formal company, or just yourself as an individual.

Application must include:

1. Vacation rental property list (Fillable PDF)
2. Business license application based the location of your business, not your rental property. Options include the following fillable PDFs:
pdf Non-Resident license (3.02 MB) if you manage your vacation rentals from your home/office outside of Canmore
pdf Regional license (1.26 MB) if you manage your properties from your home/office within the MD of Big Horn
pdf Home Occupation (1.26 MB) if you manage your properties from you home/primary residence in Canmore
pdf Resident Commercial license (1.37 MB) if you manage your properties from your commercial office space in Canmore

Submit both your business license application and vacation rental property list to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Additional documentation may be requested.

Notes:

· If you are the property owner and have recently purchased this property, you may be asked to provide a copy of your purchase agreement since your name may not yet appear on the title at the time of your application.

· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.

Bed & Breakfast
Submit the following to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to obtain a Home Occupation business license for your bed & breakfast.

1.   pdf Application form  (1.26 MB) (Fillable PDF)
2. Development Permit & Schedule A: To inquire, contact Planning and select "Bed and Breakfast" as the subject of your inquiry

Notes:

· If you are the property owner and have recently purchased this property, you may be asked to provide a copy of your purchase agreement since your name may not yet appear on title at the time of your application.

· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.

· For guidance on your bed and breakfast operation, please consult the  pdf Land Use Bylaw (26.86 MB)

Add a vacation rental property to your existing business license
If you have an existing business license for your rental management company and you have a new property to list on your account, please submit a  pdf vacation rental property list (64 KB)  to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Notes:

· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.


Other Business License Types

Vendors and Food Trucks
A Vendor business license applies to vendors, food trucks and door-to-door sales agents using public or private property. Please read the  pdf Vendor Guidelines (235 KB)  for information. If a business decides to return in the future in such a capacity, a Vendor business license license, and Development Permit, if applicable, must be applied for anew.

Vendors: 

A Vendor is any business that wishes to set up a push-cart, wagon, or other wheeled or skidded vehicle, mobile preparation unit, stall, booth, table or space for the sale or distribution of services or products; processed or unprocessed foodstuffs or retail items. This may be for participating in a special event or market, or as a general vendor wishing to make use of private or public property. 

Vendor license fees:

Annual
: $150

2-3 Days: $50
1-Day: $25

Vendor license application package must include:

1.  pdf Application form (1.30 MB)  (Fillable PDF)
2.  Temporary/Seasonal Development Permit, if operating on private property. Contact Planning and select "Temporary/Seasonal Development Permit" as the subject of your inquiry. Development Permits (DP) are issued at the discretion of the Planning Department, and inform if a Vendor license can be issued.  Obtaining a DP may take several months; start the process as soon as possible.

See Notes below.


Food Trucks:
Town of Canmore does not currently permit food trucks to make use of roadways, sideways, pathways, or trails, however, there are two options available to you:

1.  Vendor on Private Property: As noted in the Vendor process above: If a business owner enters into an agreement with a commercial property owner to operate a food truck or vendor kiosk on their private property, they may apply for a vendor business license. A temporary/seasonal development permit will also be required.

2.  Food Truck Pilot Program: Food truck vendors are encouraged to apply to operate from their choice of four approved locations within the Town of Canmore. This program runs from May 15 to Oct. 12, 2022.  Visit Food Truck Pilot Project for more information. 


Notes:

· It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure licensing and permitting requirements are met prior to operating their business as a vendor.

· Average processing time of a business license application is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.  

· The average processing time does not include obtaining a Development Permit, which can take several months. 

· For other business-related information, please see Other Documents & Permit.
Hawkers / Door-To-Door Sales
Door-To-Door Salespersons, also known as a Hawker, is defined by the bylaw 2015-02 as, "a person who, whether as principal or agent, goes from door to door selling or offering for sale any merchandise or service, or both, to any person and who is not a wholesale or retail dealer in that merchandise or service, and who does not have a permanent place of business in the Town".  Hawkers must obtain a vendor business license to operate in Canmore for any duration of time. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure licensing requirements are met prior to operating.
 
Vendor license fees:
Annual:
$150

2-3 Days: $50
1-Day: $25

Vendor license application package must include:

1.   pdf Application form (1.30 MB)  (Fillable PDF)

Notes:

· Average processing time of a business license application is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.  

· For other business-related information, please see Other Documents & Permit.
Special Events
Special Event business licenses are for event organizers who have been issued a Community Event Permit or facility rental agreement from the Town of Canmore.  This license is for the event organizer to cover all business activity related to the event - i.e. setup, during, and tear-down of the event. 

If the event organizer does not wish to obtain a Special Event business license, all vendors or service providers for that event are responsible for obtaining their own Canmore business licenses. 


Special Event business license fee: $75 per day

Applications must include:

1.   pdf Application form (fillable PDF) (961 KB)

Notes:


· Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.  


· Community event organizer? Visit Community Event Permitting for more information.

· Need to book a venue? Visit the Town's Facility and Venue Booking page.

· This license is not for events on private property.  For events on private property, a vendor business license would instead be required by all vendors at the event. 


Busking in Canmore

Business License for Buskers
Click here for more information.
How to add a business location to the approved busking locations map?
Click here for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions

Photographers and Filmmakers
Are you a photographer or filmmaker? If you are shooting on Town property, a film permit is required.  Please submit your business license application, certificate of insurance, and film permit application as one package to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please click here for details and to apply. 

If you are strictly shooting on private property, such as at a hotel, restaurant or in a person's home, you are only required to obtain a business license. See the "Business Licenses" section for the option that best suits your operation.
License renewal process

If you hold an annual license, you will receive an invoice by mail or email within one month prior to your license expiry. You can pay online here (search by license number) or call the Civic Centre at 403.678.1500 ext. 6. For all other payment options, refer to your invoice.

Need to re-declare your business as a micro-business?  See the section below. 

Micro-business status
What is micro-business status? Micro-business status is applicable to businesses that generate less than $30,000 annual gross revenue - i.e. revenue before any expenses are paid. 

Who is eligible? Canmore-based businesses, and Regional business license holders. Supporting documentation may be requested.

When and how can I declare? When you first apply for an annual license (it is part of the application form), and upon renewal of your business license.  If declaring at the time of renewal, refer to page 2 of your invoice or complete this fillable  pdf micro-business declaration (1.38 MB)  and submit it to the Business Registry by email, mail, or Civic Centre drop-box.  Wait for a response before paying your license fee.

I submitted by declaration. Now what? The Business Registry Coordinator will review your declaration, and if approved, they will adjust your license fee and send you payment options.  
Making changes to your business information
If you wish to make a change to your business’s contact information, mailing address, contact persons, or types of services offered, please complete the  pdf change form (191 KB)  and submit it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All changes must be submitted by the business owner or designated authorized contact.
Moving locations?
Submit a change form and proof of residence or of occupying the new property.  This proof is only required if you are not on title as the owner of the property.  This may be a photo of a driver's license or a copy of a rental agreement for a home or commercial/industrial space. 

Important: 

If you are moving to a location that impacts your business license type (ex. moving from a home base to commercial property, or from Canmore to out-of-town), you will need to apply for a new business license.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the Business Registry Coordinator can guide you.
Change of ownership? 
Previous owner? Submit a license cancellation notice by mail or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

New owner? You must apply for a business license of your own. See the "Business Licenses" section above for the license that best suits your business. Proof of business transfer or business sale agreement must also be submitted as part of the application. 
Business closure and canceling your license
Permanent Closure? The business owner must submit a notice including the business name and/or license number and date of closure to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by mail to Business Registry, 902 7 Avenue, Canmore, AB, T1W 3K1. 

Please note that all business license fees are non-refundable.

Temporary closure? If you are putting a pause on your operation in Canmore, notify us via the methods above and we will cancel your license renewal.  When you decide to resume operations, we can reactivate your license.  A new application form may be required to verify that all information is up to date and that the appropriate business license is activated.


Other Documents & Permits

Below is information on supporting documentation and other helpful resources for business owners.

Trade Name Registration / Proof of Filing 

Proof of registering your business name/trade name with the Government of Alberta is not required to obtain a Canmore business license.  However, if you do wish to register your business or trade name, fill out the form referred to in Step 3 at this link, and submit the form to the Canmore Registry (Government of Alberta).

Planning & Development Permits
A Development Permit issued by Town of Canmore Planning may be required by a business who owns or rents a property previously occupied by a business of a different industry. A Development Permit is required vendors or food trucks on private property; by Home Occupation Class-2 businesses including Bed and Breakfasts, and are required for most new construction, or any time there is a change in the way land is used or the intensity of the use has changed. The type of Development Permit will depend on the situation and be determined by Planning. For more information and to inquire, click here   

If doing renovations, please visit the Planning Department online for more information on building and development permits Construction noise is permitted between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and is prohibited Sundays and holidays. All construction occurring on Sundays and holidays requires written approval by the Town of Canmore. A Request for Permission to Work form can be obtained at the Civic Centre or by clicking here. (Source: Bylaw Services’ Noise & Nuisance Control webpage)
Signage Permit & Regulations
Prior to ordering any signs, refer to the Sign Regulations and complete the Development Permit Application - Signage form found here.   For inquiries, click "contact us" here.
Film Permit (Photo or Motion) 
Are you a photographer or filmmaker and have a gig on public land?  You are required to obtain a Town of Canmore business license and a film permit. Please click here for more information and to apply. 

If you are strictly filming on private property, such as at a hotel, restaurant or in a person's home, you are only required to obtain a business license.
Alberta Health Services Health Inspection
To arrange an inspection, please contact the AHS Health Inspector at 403.678.5656. This is required for food and drink establishments and may be required for personal health or personal care services. For more information, visit AHS online.  
Fire Inspection
Set up your appointment 30 days in advance of the anticipated opening. To book a fire inspection please call 403.678.6199 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Restaurants – Grease Trap/Interceptor Schedule
All restaurants are required to have a grease trap (interceptor) and submit an annual maintenance schedule to Public Works upon request. Contact Public Works at 403.678.1580 for more information.
Non-Municipal Permits and Licenses
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to comply with municipal, provincial, federal, and sector-specific regulations and guidelines pertaining to your operation.

Click here to find the permits and licenses you need for your business
Automotive Repair and Dealership Approvals
If you are opening an automotive repair shop or dealership you must contact AMVIC and get approval. Contact: 877.979.8100 
Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC)
For gaming, liquor, and cannabis permits and information, please contact the AGLC.

Other Essential Information

Business License Bylaw Non-Compliance
Any person who contravenes the provisions of the pdf business registry bylaw (253 KB) shall be liable for a penalty of up to $1,000.00 plus the applicable license fee.  Any person who unlawfully completes the statutory declaration of a micro-business shall be liable for a minimum penalty of $1,500 plus the applicable license fee.
Business Directory
Use the Business Directory to find businesses that have given consent to be listed. 

You may also contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire if a business is licensed to operate within the Town of Canmore.  The business name must be provided at the time of inquiry
Support & Resources for Businesses

New business? Consider applying for SMARTstart, a program for entrepreneurs within the first three years of operation. This program has an annual intake process.

Searching for commercial property?
Visit this link to search for available properties for lease or sale.

Stay informed: Sign-up for our business update newsletter brought to you by the Town of Canmore’s Economic Development Department. Click here to sign-up.

Alberta Biz-Connect: Click here to access the Provincial government’s latest workplace guidance and supports to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19.

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

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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