Business License

Anyone involved in business activities within the City of Medicine Hat requires a Business License. Once you receive your Business License, it must be prominently displayed in your place of business.

How to apply

Apply online

  • All types of new business licenses
  • Change of business address
  • Change of business ownership
  • Licenses for out-of-town businesses

How long will it take?

A typical business license will be approved in 5-15 business days. However, it may take an extended period of time if other types of permits, review and/or approvals are needed. In certain circumstances, this may include a building permit, external approvals, MPC review, etc.

How much will it cost?

The fee to apply for a business license will vary depending on the circumstances, including:

  • In-town business (resident) or out-of-town business (non-resident)
  • Commercial location or Home location
  • Type of business: e.g. Hotel, Retail store, Construction, Photographer (to name a few)
See full list of fees:

Business license fees

After your Business License application is received and processed, you will be notified of the application fee.


Email us or phone 403-529-8374.

Do I require a Business License?

If you do business within the City of Medicine Hat and make a profit, you require a Business License.

Even if you hold a Provincial License with the Province of Alberta you are still required to hold a local license from the City of Medicine Hat in order to conduct your business legally inside the corporate limits of Medicine Hat.

Refer to Bylaw 2339, Section 3.

Contractors, tradespersons & handypersons

Without a valid Business License, contractors are not allowed to obtain construction permits. A list of conditions required for this type of Business License is automatically included in your Business License application. To view the conditions, see:

Conditions for Trades

'Exempt' professionals

Certain professional businesses (i.e. dentists, lawyers, engineers, architects) are not required to pay for a business license in the City of Medicine Hat. However, such businesses must still apply for a business license to ensure allowable land use, for disclosure of their business location, and to ensure that other conditions are met. This payment exception applies to members of any professional association regulated by members of their own profession pursuant to a provincial statute.

Refer to Bylaw 2339, Section 4(c).

What areas of the city is my type of business allowed?

For information about the types of land use districts in Medicine Hat, visit:


If you have questions about land use regulations for businesses, contact a Planning Officer or Business License Coordinator at Planning & Development Services.

When does a Business License expire?

You may choose a yearly or daily option when you submit your Business License application.

The typical option is a yearly Business License. Expiry is one calendar year after the date when you were originally issued the license. Renewal invoices are mailed to licensed businesses 30 days in advance.

Another option is a daily Business License, which is typically only used by out-of-town businesses which are operating in Medicine Hat for a few days. Expiry is at the end of the final day of operation provided by the applicant.

Apply online

Starting a home-based business

You must have City approval to open a business out of your home, and several restrictions apply. For full information, visit:

Home Business

Moving a business

If you plan to move your business, please notify Planning & Development Services before the move occurs. It may be a simple administrative change, or it may require a review to determine if your type of business activity is permitted in the area.

Apply for a change of address for your business:

Apply online

Buying a previously-owned business

If you purchased an existing business, you must obtain a new Business License. Contact Planning & Development Services and provide proof of transfer of ownership (typically bill of sale) showing business description and names of buyer and seller.

Apply for a change of ownership of a business:

Apply online

Closing a business

If you close or sell your business, please notify Planning & Development Services so your license file can be closed. License fees already paid are not refundable. If you sell your business, the new owner must apply for a new Business License, and potentially, other approvals will also be required.

Trade and Craft Shows


If you are a resident of Medicine Hat, a Business License is not required to participate in a local Trade Show or Craft Show.


If you are not a resident of Medicine Hat and you are participating in a Trade Show or Craft Show within Medicine Hat, you may be required to have a Business License. The fee which is paid to the organizer of the trade show may not include the cost of your Business License, therefore you should contact the organizer of your event. If you need a City Business License, you may choose to pay an annual fee or a daily fee.

Special events and festivals

Examples of activities which require City approvals are:

  • Events where products and services are available
  • Farmers' markets, exhibits
  • Trade shows
  • Carnivals, festivals, circuses
  • Amusement parks, fairs, haunted houses
  • Psychic practitioners
  • Sporting events, runs/walks
  • Concerts, block parties

Depending on your event, a wide variety of approvals may be required. To make sure that your event is compliant with the rules and is safe for everyone, please see our Special Event Package.

Special Event Information

Charitable fundraising

Charitable organizations undertaking fundraising activities in Medicine Hat are not required to obtain a City Business License. However, there are provincial regulations for charitable fundraising. To learn more, visit:

Alberta Rules for Fundraising

Applying in person

Business License applications are also accepted in person. Visit Planning & Development Services at the address below and we will assist you. If you wish, you may download the form below and complete it before you visit.

Business License Application

Planning & Development Services
2nd floor, City Hall
580 1st Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB  T1A 8E6

Ph. (403) 529-8374

 Payment methods

Online or phone

  • Visa or Mastercard


  • Debit
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Visa or Mastercard


  • Cheque


Business license fees vary based on business type. See all fees below:

Fees and Charges