Business Licences

Business Licences are required by anyone providing a service or goods, or operating a business within City limits. This could range from a contractor coming in from out of town, a retail store operating from a commercial location or an accountant operating an office from home.

COVID-19 Process Update

The City of Red Deer is now issuing all business licences with complete applications.  Business owners and applicants are to ensure they are following the Provincial and Federal operating guidelines and restrictions. You can confirm if your business is included in stage 2 and able to operate on the Alberta Government Essential Services web page.

If you have questions, please contact us at licensing@reddeer.ca.

General information 

Whether you're just starting out, or are an existing business moving to a new location in town, the information below applies to all businesses operating in the City of Red Deer.

Why do I need a Business Licence?

What's in it for you?

  • Provides customer assurance; you're a valid business within the community
  • Provides protection to local businesses invested in the community by creating accountability
  • Ensures accurate business information is displayed on The City's Online Business Directory (coming soon!)
  • Identifies trends, helping to track business movements in targeted areas; as well as pinpointing emerging jobs, and the training and education they will require to best serve the needs of the community

Additional advantages to licensing your business
(The City's perspective):

  • To have all business operating under the same bylaws and regulations 
  • Brings capacity to market the community/region effectively and conduct more focused strategic planning to better serve business and community members
  • Promotes safety for the community; ensuring compliance with The City's Land Use Bylaw, as well as the Alberta Building and Fire Codes, and other Provincial agencies
  • To enforce the bylaws for those not complying
Links and resources to help start your business

Registered Business Name

For all business operating/intending to operate as a Corporation, Trade Name or a Sole Proprietorship, your registration documentation from Corporate Registries is required to be submitted with the Business Licence application, either uploaded electronically or a copy provided with the application form.

To register a business name, please visit any Registries office in your area.

Provincial Licences/Permits

Depending on your industry and the services you provide, you may require Provincial authorization. Listed below are some of the Provincial agencies that Inspections and Licensing often works with:

Other Helpful Links

Visit the Steps to Starting a Business page to determine other requirements that may pertain to your new business venture.

Types of Business Licences

Annual Business Licences

  • Available for businesses operating both within and outside City limits.
  • Valid from January 1 to December 31, and are to be renewed each year that the business is operating.
  • If you are a new business, applying for a licence part way through the year, a prorated fee may apply. Your licence will still expire December 31.

Short-Term Business Licences

  • Available for businesses operating both within and outside City limits. 
  • Valid for 4 consecutive months.
  • A flat fee will apply (no prorating)
How do I apply?

Online

Apply through MyLicence for the fastest and easiest way to submit your application.

Launch MyLicence Now

Email / in person 

Alternatively, you can submit your application form and all requirements by email to licensing@reddeer.ca, or visit Inspections and Licensing on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 4914 48 Avenue.

Check out our Location section below to find the appropriate application for your type of business.

Location

Where you intend to, or are operating your business from will determine the different requirements of your Business Licence application. See below for more details.

I'm a business from out of town...

If your business is located outside of City of Red Deer limits, but are coming into Red Deer to provide a service or goods, you will require an 'Out of Town' Business Licence. 

You can apply online by clicking the green button below:

Launch MyLicence Now

Alternatively, you can complete the Business Licence Application Form (pdf) , and submit it by email to licensing@reddeer.ca, or in person to Inspections and Licensing, 3rd floor City Hall, 4914 48 Avenue, Red Deer.

I want to operate my business from home

Operating your business from your residence within Red Deer is classified as a Home-Based Business. 

Home-based businesses can be:

  • office only 
  • an online business or a service provided outside of the home but has no customers or traffic to the home
  • services provided to customers within the home**

There are regulations that all home-based businesses are required to comply with. See the list below.

**Home-based businesses that have customers to the home will need to apply for a Development Permit - Home Occupation (pdf) . This approval is required prior to the Business Licence being issued.

Apply online by clicking the green button below:

Launch MyLicence Now

Alternatively, you can complete and submit the Home-Based Business Licence Application Form (pdf)  by email to licensing@reddeer.ca, or in person to Inspections and Licensing on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 4914 48 Avenue.

I am operating from a Commercial/Industrial location...

You will require Business Licence to operate a business from a location that is zoned commercial or industrial within City of Red Deer limits.

You can apply online by clicking the green button below:

Launch MyLicence Now

Alternatively, you can complete the Business Licence Application Form (pdf) , and submit it by email to licensing@reddeer.ca, or in person to Inspections and Licensing, 3rd floor City Hall, 4914 48 Avenue, Red Deer.

Are you making changes to the space?

Any change of use or construction/renovations to the space may require additional approvals under The City's Land Use Bylaw and/or the Alberta Building Code.

Inspections and Licensing may identify the requirement of a change of use Development Permit and/or Building Permit, after reviewing your Business Licence application. You will be notified by email if additional documentation is required.

Forms that may be required:

I want to operate a Mobile Business Unit...

Mobile Business Unit (MBU) means a business operating from a motor vehicle, temporary structure or display, or stand. These types of businesses would include:

  • food trucks
  • fruit stands
  • ice cream bike(s)/truck(s)

MBUs that are used to produce, cook, sell or distribute food, and have a secondary heat source (whether gas, propane, or electric) may require additional permitting. See our Mobile Cooking Operations page to find out more.

If you are a vendor operating in Red Deer solely as part of a market or special event, you will not require a Business Licence.

There are additional criteria for MBUs, outlined below.

You can apply online by clicking the green button below:

Launch MyLicence Now

Alternatively, you can complete the Mobile Business Unit Application Form (pdf) , and submit it by email to licensing@reddeer.ca, or in person to Inspections and Licensing, 3rd floor City Hall, 4914 48 Avenue, Red Deer.

Regulated Businesses

The Business Licence Bylaw identifies several types of businesses that have additional requirements and conditions.  See the list below.

Home-Based Businesses

Listed below are some of the regulations for home-based businesses. For a complete listing of regulations, see section 4.8(j) of The City's Land Use Bylaw.

  • shall not be staffed by more than two adult residents of the home 
  • only one commercial vehicle used in conjunction with the home occupation may be parked on the site or any adjacent street
  • no advertising may be posted at the site of a home occupation
  • may not result in a disturbance to the peace and quiet or other amenities of the neighbourhood, nor may it cause the emission of dust, noise, odour, smoke, electronic interference, bright lights, or other nuisances
  • outside storage of equipment material or goods in connection with a home occupation is prohibited, nor shall there be any storage or use of hazardous, noxious or dangerous goods
  • an accessory building may not be constructed or used for the sole purpose of a home occupation, but a home occupation may be accommodated in a private garage, provided that the intended purpose of parking motor vehicles continues to be met
Pawn Shops and Pawn Brokers

Pawn Broker means a person who carries on the business of loaning or holding oneself out as ready to loan money on the security of the pawn of property. Does not include a bank, trust company, credit union or other similar institution.

Listed below are some of the regulations for Pawn Shops and Pawn Brokers. For a complete list of regulations, see Schedule "B" of the Business Licence Bylaw

  • pawn shops cannot be located within a residence
  • are required to use Business Watch International - PawnSight (BWI) to record each transaction for pawned goods. Records are to be kept for a period of 1 year from the date the goods were pawned, and cannot be erased or altered in any way while they are kept.
  • not sell any Pawned Goods until at least forty-five (45) days have elapsed from the time the goods were Pawned
  • cannot accept pawned goods if:
    • the goods are offered by a person who is under 18 years old, fails to provide identification, or appears to be intoxicated
    • the goods have/appear to have the identification/serial number removed or altered in any way, unless prior written approval is obtained from the RCMP
Second Hand Dealers

Second Hand Dealer means the business of acquiring second-hand property by trade, purchase or consignment, for the purpose of selling. Does not include auction sales, auto-wreckers, or recycling depots.

Listed below are some regulations for Second Hand Dealers. For the complete list of regulations, please see Schedule "C" of the Business Licence Bylaw.

  • A Second Hand Dealer shall not carry on the business of a Pawn Broker on the same premises 
  • Will be required to use Business Watch International-PawnSight software to record the required information outlined in the Schedule "C"
  • Records shall not be erased
  • Shall not dispose of or undertake the repair of any second hand goods until 72 hours have elapsed from the time of acquisition 
Mobile Business Units (MBUs)

Listed below are some regulations for Mobile Business Units (MBUs). For the complete list of regulations, please see Schedule "D" of the Business Licence Bylaw.

  • MBUs that provide food services are not to be located within 50m from a permanent food service establishment or a primary or secondary school.
  • MBUs may not use parking meters located around City Hall block, including in front of City Hall on 48 Avenue (between 49 Street and Ross Street), or along Ross Street (between 48 Avenue and 49 Avenue). 
  • A Use of Streets Permit is required for the MBU to park on City roadways for business use. Proof of approved Business Licence must be provided to Engineering Services. Payment for Use of Street Permit does not constitute approval of location under the approved Business Licence. It is the responsibility of the MBU to follow the required criteria.
  • MBUs must abide by all municipal, provincial and federal regulations including Traffic Bylaw.
Direct Sellers

Listed below are the regulations for Direct Sellers. This list can be found under Schedule "E" of the Business Licence Bylaw.

  • A Direct Seller must submit proof of a current/valid direct selling business licence, issued under the Direct Selling Business Licensing Regulation, Alberta Regulation, 190/1999.
  • A Direct Seller may not carry on business between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.
  • A Direct Seller must carry with him a copy of their valid Business Licence, and produce it on request to each potential customer.

If you do not have a Provincial licence for Direct Sales, please visit the Service Alberta website.

Drinking Establishments

Listed below are some regulations for Drinking Establishments. For the complete list of regulations, please see Schedule "F" of the Business Licence Bylaw.

  • must adhere to the provisions of all bylaws, enactments or regulations which apply to the drinking establishment
  • maintain in place a plan for first aid for patrons of the establishment, and outside inspection and clean up in the vicinity of the business location, during and after the hours of operation
  • subject to additional conditions of the Business Licence, should events occur that jeopardize the safety, health, welfare or property of members of the public, or of the patrons of the business.
  • subject to inspections by a member of the RCMP, a Peace Officer, or Safety Codes Officer during the hours of operation

Visit the AGLC website to find out what kind of Provincial licensing and regulations are required for drinking establishments.

Mobile and Permanent Supervised Consumption Services

Listed below are some regulations for Mobile and Permanent Supervised Consumption Services. For the complete list of regulations, please see Schedule "G" of the Business Licence Bylaw.

  • the applicant has been granted an exemption for medical purposes by the federal government in accordance with section 56.1 or the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
  • must provide written notice of their intent to apply for a licence to each owner and occupant of land located within a 100m radius of the location where the site is proposing to operate. 
  • additional items required to be submitted with the application, whether the site is mobile or permanent, are:
    • a signed landowner consent where services are proposed to be offered
    • a proposed security plan, including the number and qualifications of security personnel
  • additional conditions may be imposed, such as CPTED concerns, hours of operation, queue management, and security concerns.
Cannabis Retail Sales and Cannabis Production Facilities

Listed below are some regulations for Cannabis Retail Sales and Cannabis Production Facilities. For the complete list of regulations, please see Schedule "H" of the Business Licence Bylaw.

  • must maintain and keep proof of a valid and subsisting Cannabis Licence pursuant to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act (Alberta)
  • must maintain and keep a list of all persons employed, inlcuding proof of each employee's compliance with the qualifications, conditions, or training requirements for employees of Cannabis Licensees set out in the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act (Alberta)
  • must submit a proposed security plan for the licensed premises
  • ensure that a minimum of two employees are present on the licensed premises at any time the business is open to the public
  • comply with all applicable municipal, provincial, and federal legislation

Visit the AGLC website to find out what provincial licensing and regulations are required.

Late Night Clubs

Late Night Club means a facility where:

  1.  No alcohol or alcoholic beverages are available for consumption or sale.
  2.  20 or more patrons are assembled at any time between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
  3.  Tickets are sold, or an entrance fee is charged.

Listed below are some regulations for Late Night Clubs. For the complete list of regulations, please see Schedule "I" of the Business Licence Bylaw.

  • must submit a description of the usual types of events that will be held at the location, including hours of operation, and the method by which admission will be charged
  • provide a description of the sound system to be used at the business, and any steps that will be taken by the applicant to ensure that noise disturbance outside the business is minimized.

Contact Information

For any inquiries, please contact Licensing by phone or email: