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

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

A commercial Business License is typically approved in 5-10 business days. A Home Business License may take up to 15 business days. In rare circumstances where the application must be reviewed by the Municipal Planning Commission, it may take a month or more.

Payment methods

Online or phone

  • Visa or Mastercard

In-person

  • Debit
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Visa or Mastercard

Mail

  • Cheque

Fees and Charges

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.


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

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

To see a detailed list of permitted and discretionary land uses in various areas of Medicine Hat, visit:

Zoning

If you have questions about land use regulations, contact a Planning Officer 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

Residents

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


Non-residents

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