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 is required to 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. 

Common Inquiries and Processes

Application process 
  1. Complete your application form and gather your supporting documents

  2. Submit your application package to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by mail, or in person via the Civic Centre's drop box next to the main doors.

  3. After we receive your complete application package, it will be added to our queue for processing.

  4. After your application has been processed, you will be sent payment options to activate your license.  These payment options include online payment, online banking, over the phone, in person, or by cheque.

  5. Upon receipt of payment, a PDF copy of your license will be sent by email for your records and/or posting in your establishment.  This may take a few days due to the volume of licenses to issue.

All applications will be responded to via email in a timely manner, in order of receipt. Application processing times may vary depending on the type of license, completion of the application, and department workload at the time of submission.

Due to the volume of inquiries, please do not follow up on your application with a phone call.  

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
Micro-business status is applicable only to Canmore-based businesses and is extended to regional businesses that hold an annual business license, and whose business generates less than $30,000 annual gross revenue - i.e. revenue before any expenses are paid. 

You have the opportunity to declare your business as a micro-business at the time of applying for an annual business license (refer to your application form), and upon its annual renewal (reference page 2 of your invoice) or complete the  pdf micro-business declaration (1.28 MB) , and submit it to the Business Registry by email, mail, or Civic Centre drop-box. Our team will then review your declaration, and if approved adjust your fee and send you payment options.  Supporting documentation may be requested to review and process your declaration.  

Wait for confirmation from the Business Registry office before paying your fee
Making changes to your business information
All changes must be submitted by the business owner or authorized contact.  See below for details. 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..
Moving locations?
Submit a change form, and if you are not on the title (ie. do not own the property), also submit proof of residence (ie. rental agreement for a home-based business, or commercial property).

Important: If you are moving to a location that impacts your business type (ex. moving from a residential to commercial property, or from Canmore to out-of-town), you will need to apply for a new business license.
Change of ownership? 
The current business owner/license holder must submit a written cancellation notice by mail or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and the new owner must apply for a business license of their own. Proof of business transfer or business sale agreement must also be submitted as part of the application. 
Business closure and canceling your license
If you are closing your business or ceasing operations in Canmore, the business owner must notify the Business Registry with the business name and/or license number, and date of closure. Submit by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or written letter to Business Registry, 902 7 Avenue, Canmore, AB, T1W 3K1. 

Please note that 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.

Business Licenses

If you are conducting business within the Town of Canmore on a temporary or long-term basis, you are required to obtain a Canmore business license prior to operating. 

Out of Town / Non-Resident Business License
Any business based out of town, excluding the MD of Bighorn, is required to obtain a business license to conduct work within the Town of Canmore. For additional permits related to photographers and filmmakers, please see the section on Other Documents and Permits.

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

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

Applications must include:
Out of Town Business License application form:  pdf Click here (1.24 MB) to download.

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.

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

If you are located in Harvie Heights, Exshaw, Lac Des Arcs or Deadman’s Flats, you may apply for a pdf Regional Business License (1.26 MB) .
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 municipal services agreement between the Town of Canmore and Municipal District of Big Horn. This also includes the micro-business fee adjustment. 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:   pdf Click here (1.26 MB)  to download.
2.  Proof of residence: Signed rent agreement, copy of driver's license, 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.

Canmore Resident Home Occupation
This business license type applies to those who operate their business from their primary residence in Canmore. This would also apply to 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.

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


Application must include the following:

1.    pdf Application form  (1.26 MB)

2.  Certificate of Incorporation, if applicable.
3.  Proof of residence: If you are renting or otherwise do not appear on title, please submit a copy of your signed rent agreement, copy of your driver's license or a utility/other bill with your name, address and a recent date.
4. Town of Canmore Planning approvals (ex. Development Permit): Only if applicable. The business license application includes a prompt to connect with the Planning Department if your response is "yes" to certain questions. To verify the classification of your business as either a class-1 or class-2 home occupation, please contact Planning.

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.

Canmore Commercial Business
This business license type applies to those who operate their business out of commercial property within Canmore.

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)
2.  Certificate of Incorporation, if applicable
3.  Lease agreement: If you do not own the commercial space (ie you do not appear on title), provide a copy of your commercial lease agreement
3.  Town of Canmore Planning approvals: If applicable, this may be a Development Permit, Conformance Report, or Change of Use permit. To inquire, please contact Planning.

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.

Vacation Rentals and B&Bs

Overview
If you are operating/managing a vacation rental property, i.e. tourist home, visitor accommodation, short-term rental, Airbnb, or bed and breakfast, a business license must be obtained from the Town of Canmore.  This would be one business license for your vacation rental management company whether that is a formal business operation, or yourself as an individual property/home-owner.  If you own a vacation rental that is being managed by a third party, they require the business license.

As the property manager, you only require one business license to cover all of your rental properties within Canmore.  When you apply for your business license, you also submit a property list which is attached to your file. 


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
How to apply for a business license for your vacation rental management company

1.  Complete a vacation rental property list: pdf Click here (64 KB) to download.
2.  Complete a business license application: See the "Business Licenses" section for options
3.  Submit to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

How to apply for a business license for your bed & breakfast
1.  Complete a Home Occupation business license application: See the "Business Licenses" section for options
2.  Obtain a Development Permit from Town of Canmore Planning: To inquire, contact Planning and select "Bed and Breakfast" as your subject.

3.  Submit license application and approved Development Permit to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 (17.37 MB)

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

How to add a vacation rental to your existing business license? 
If you have an existing business license for your vacation rental management company and you have acquired a new vacation rental property to manage, please submit a  pdf vacation rental property list (64 KB)  and those properties will be added to your file.

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.

Generally, there is no cost to add a vacation rental to your business license account.  The exception is if you are a Canmore-based commercial business, and you are not managing over 15 units, your business license fee would be adjusted to $520 as per Bylaw 2015-02.

Vendors, Food Trucks, and Special Events

Vendors & Food Trucks
Overview: A Vendor license is for 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 or good truck wishing to make use of private or public property for business purposes. Please see the pdf Vendor Guidelines (235 KB) for information on the use of public property. If a business decides to return in the future as a vendor, a new license, and Development Permit - if applicable, must be obtained.

The Vendor license also applies to Hawkers, 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".

Food trucks: Town of Canmore does not currently permit food trucks to make use of roadways, sideways, pathways, or trails, however, if a business owner were to enter into an agreement with a private property owner to part a food truck or vendor kiosk on their private lot, they would be able to apply for a Vendor license.


Development Permit: A condition of obtaining a Vendor license for use of private property is to obtain a Temporary/Seasonal Development Permit from the Town's Planning Department. Contact Planning, and select "Temporary/Seasonal Development Permit" as the subject of your inquiry. Development Permits are issued at the discretion of the Planning Department, and inform if a Vendor license can be issued. 

Vendor license fees:
Annual: $150

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

Vendor license application package must include:

1.  Application form: pdf Click here (1.30 MB) to download
2.  Use of private property agreement, if applicable
3.  Temporary/Seasonal Development Permit, if applicable

Notes:

The annual fee is pro-rated on July 1 and Oct. 1.

Average processing time of complete applications 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 a minimum of 1-month, not including processing time.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure licensing and permitting requirements are met prior to operating their business as a vendor.

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, and who wish to obtain a business license to cover all business activity related to the event - i.e. leading up to, during and/or after 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:

Special Event business license application form:   pdf Click here (1.01 MB)  to download.

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. 

Busking in Canmore

Busking Licenses, Locations and Conditions
Busking is permitted only in areas identified on the Town of Canmore's approved locations map and must comply with the busking conditions, pdf included here (1.16 MB) . Buskers may only perform at a location for 2-hours at a time between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. from May 1 to Oct 31.  Any busking done outside of these and other busking conditions, is subject to penalties, including but not limited to a financial fine, revoking of license, and inability to apply for a license in the following calendar year. 

Buskers must always carry their license on their person, on paper or digital format, during their performances, and it must be supplied upon request of a Bylaw Office or Peace Officer. Failure to do so may result in a fine subject to the pdf Business Registry Bylaw 2015-02 (253 KB)

Buskers must be 16 years of age or older, and if 16 or 17 years of age, they must obtain parental or guardian consent.

Busking license fee: $32.50 for the busking season (May 1 to Oct 31)

Application must include:
1.  Busking license application form. pdf Click here (1.16 MB) to download
2.  Parental or guardian consent, if applicable
3.  Acknowledgement of busking conditions; refer to application form

Notes:
Average processing time of complete applications is up to 10-15 business days. Processing times may vary. Incomplete applications can significantly impact processing times.

Busking licenses are temporary and do not renew.  If you wish to return next season, please apply for a new license.

How to add a business location to the approved busking locations map?
Business owners can request that the space outside of their business premises be added to the approved busking locations map.

How to make a request:
1.  Obtain letters/emails of support from your neighbouring street-facing business owners; if applicable, ground-floor, adjacent, overhead, and below.  Letters of support or opposition must all be submitted.  Letters are to include the name of the business, address, contact person, and position within the company, and if they support or oppose the request.
2.  Complete the application form pdf Click here (1.20 MB)  to download.
3.  Submit the application package, including all decision letters/emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Notes:
Submitting a request does not guarantee approval.



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 no longer required to obtain a Canmore business license.  It is advisable, and 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.

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; by 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, you likely need a building permit, please visit Planning Department online.
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) 
While a business license gives you license to conduct business in Canmore, a Film Permit gives you permission to shoot within the Town of Canmore on public property, i.e. parks, trails, sidewalks, Town facilities and venues, etc. For permit options, application forms and more information, please click here. If you have questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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. 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 with 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 interactive Business Directory map to find businesses that have given consent to be listed. 

You may also contact the Business Registry office to inquire if a business is licensed to operate within the Town of Canmore.  Business name must be provided at the time of inquiry, as information cannot be given based on the home address, owner’s name or contact information. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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

Town of Canmore Business Support Hub: Click here for information related to COVID-19, resources, programs, the Economic Recovery Plan, and more.

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 Wesley 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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