Starting a Business

All businesses operating in Medicine Hat are required to have a valid City of Medicine Hat Business License.

The required approvals vary for each business license type, as defined by City bylaws. If your business is based outside of the Medicine Hat, but you will be doing work in Medicine Hat, a City business license is also required.

To apply for a business license, or for answers to common questions, visit:

Business License

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

Guide to getting started
Consider your location 

When you apply for your Business License, a Planning or Development Officer will take into consideration the land use district, proposed business activities and historical approvals for the address you provide.

Commercial based location

Your business will be run from a commercial or industrial location in Medicine Hat.

For more information, visit:

Commercial Business

Home based location

Your business will be run from your home in Medicine Hat.

For more information, visit:

Home Business

Based outside the city

Your business is based outside Medicine Hat, but you will be conducting business within the city.


Your business will operate on a mobile basis, such as a food truck or delivery service. Mobile businesses are still required to have a base location, whether it be home-based or commercial-based.

Area of city

Your business location is required in order to obtain land use approval.

The permits required will depend on the area you are proposing to operate from, as well as the type of business activity. You may require a combination of permits for your license approval.

The City reviews a number of variables to determine which application type you require for land use approval:

  • Whether the use is listed as permitted or discretionary within the land use district
  • If the parking requirements are changing
  • If the business is proposing alterations or renovations to the space
  • If the activity change requires a Safety Codes review
For more information about land use, visit:


Determine ownership type
Regarding the ownership of your business, is it a:
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
Details about your business

It is important that you provide some details of how you want to run your business, in order for us to determine license and permit requirements.

Part of your Business License fee is determined by the type of business. When you apply, the Business License application will explore these relevant details. Some examples would be:

  • What type of equipment, vehicles and/or supplies will be stored on site?
  • Are you taking over an existing business space and plan to renovate and/or change the type of business?
  • As a restaurant, do you intend to prohibit minors at any time?
  • As a home-based business, how many vehicle visits to the home per week do you anticipate?
Choose your start date
Apply at least two weeks before you want to open for business.

The timeline to obtain approvals can vary significantly depending on the permits and approvals that are required for your business type and location. It may take only a few days, or it may take a few weeks.

To apply for a business license or for more information, visit:

Business License