Commercial Business

Everything you need to know about Commercial business in Medicine Hat.

Be sure to apply for City approvals at least two weeks before you want to open for business.

 A guide to getting started
 
 Land use approval
 
Find your zone

Each property within the city of Medicine Hat has a land use district assigned to it, and this land use district controls the allowable uses.

Zoning and Land Use

Development Permit or change of tenancy

A Development Permit or change of tenancy is always required when opening a business. Details examined by City Planning staff are parking requirements, whether the business type is permitted or discretionary, whether circulation of the application to stakeholders is necessary.

Development Permits

Make a payment

Online or phone

Visa or Mastercard

In-person

  • Debit

  • Cash

  • Cheque

  • Visa or Mastercard

Mail

Cheque

Fees and Charges

 Outdoor signs
If you wish to have new signs installed, sign permits are required. If you are changing an existing sign to a different type of sign, a sign permit is required. Or, if you are changing the size of an existing sign, a sign permit is required. This is to ensure that the size, height, type of sign(s) and lighting is within appropriate guidelines and regulations, and does not have a negative impact on neighbours, motorists or the community.

Business Signs

Renovations

If any renovations are required on the location in which the business will open, a Building Permit is needed before the work is done. Building Permit applications are reviewed for compliance with the Alberta Building Code by a Safety Codes Officer to ensure that our built environment is safe.

Any construction, repair, demolition or alterations to a building or structure requires a Building Permit. If the only changes are cosmetic (e.g. painting, flooring, cabinetry), then a Building Permit is not required.

Building Permits


Shipping containers

A shipping container (sea-can) on a property is considered to be adding a building, therefore both a Development Permit and Building Permit will likely be required.


Inspections

Having your plans reviewed, and work inspected by a Safety Codes Officer will ensure that minimum standards of safety are met. This will help protect you, your customers and staff, and the value of your property.

Inspections


Trades work

If any intended renovations include changes to gas, electrical, plumbing, heating or cooling systems in your proposed location, you will require trades permits. To ensure compliance with all regulatory safety policies, these permits are issued only to qualified professionals who are licensed by the City of Medicine Hat.

Trade Permits

Occupancy Permit

Occupancy is the use of a space, as defined by the Alberta Building Code.


Occupant Load

The number of people who may occupy a space, outlined in the Alberta Building Code and Alberta Fire Code.

Due to safety regulations, before you open your business an occupancy permit is an absolute requirement if:

  • You plan to renovate
  • There will be a change in the type of occupancy

    example: a take-out restaurant converting to include seating for diners

Occupancy Permit Application

Business License

Once all of the above steps are complete, you can apply for a 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.

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

Business License Application 


Payment methods

Online or phone

Visa or Mastercard

In-person

  • Debit
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Visa or Mastercard

Mail

Cheque

Fees and Charges

Businesses based outside Medicine Hat

All businesses operating in Medicine Hat, including businesses based outside of City limits, are required to have a valid Business License.

Yearly or daily options

  • Yearly licenses are valid for one calendar year. Renewal notices are mailed 30 days before due.
  • Daily licenses require that the exact dates you will be operating in the city are provided, and you will be charged for each of those days.

Moving or closing your business

If you plan to change your business location, and you already have a Business License, you must notify Planning & Development Services before the move occurs. (no charge).

If you close or sell your business, notify Planning & Development Services so your license file can be closed. If you sell your business, the new owner must apply for a new Business License and potentially, other approvals will also be required. If your business closes, the Business License fee is non-refundable.