Door to door

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What are door-to-door activities?

In door-to-door activities, the person or persons walk from the door of one house to the door of another to reach out to residents. Generally, door-to-door activities are methods for:

  • Direct sales of products and/or services, or;
  • Fundraising for non-profits (i.e. health foundations, school groups), or;
  • Marketing or promotion (i.e. churches, political candiates), or;
  • Gathering information (i.e. census).

In Medicine Hat, people involved in door-to-door sales are categorized as canvassers or pedlars. They may be residents or non-residents. For definitions, see Bylaw 2339. (PDF)

Transient traders are defined as non-residents of Medicine Hat, who sell goods or services from a premises (stationary location) within the City of Medicine Hat. For more information, visit Businesses based outside the city.

 


To engage in door to door sales in Medicine Hat, you must have certain authorizations and a City business license. Failure to abide by the rules may result in fines and an immediate stoppage of your business activities in the city.

DOOR-TO-DOOR ENERGY SALES BANNED: Effective January 1, 2017, the Government of Alberta banned door-to-door sales of furnaces and related products and services including water heaters, air conditioners, windows, energy contracts and energy audits.

 

1 - Obtain a Direct Seller's License

To apply, visit Service Alberta or phone 310-0000 (toll free).

Most door-to-door salespeople are working under the direction of a company (employer). In this case, it is the company's responsibility to obtain the Government of Alberta Direct Sellers' License; it is not the responsibility of each individual door-to-door sales applicant. Once the Provincial approval is granted, the company's name will appear a database with Service Alberta as a licensed Direct Seller.

Find out if a business is licensed.

The City's Planning & Development Services Department does not apply for this license for you.

2 - Apply for a Police Information Check

To apply, visit Medicine Hat Police Service or phone 403.502.8916.

The cost of a Medicine Hat Police Information Check is typically $45-$65.

The City's Planning & Development Services Department does not apply for this background check for you.

3 - Apply for a Business License

(as Canvasser or Pedlar - City of Medicine Hat)

Make sure you have your Police Information Check and proof of your Government of Alberta Direct Sellers' License. You can print and complete the application form (below) and visit Planning & Development Services. Or just drop by and we will assist you.

icon_PDFBusiness license application

The City does not accept online or telephone payments, therefore applicants will typically apply and pay in person. You may choose to mail your application and a cheque for fee payment, but you still must come by in person to obtain your photo ID card.

When you visit and your business license has been approved, you will be issued a photo ID card immediately. For payment, the City accepts cash, cheque or debit. Fees vary depending on whether you are a resident (under $45/yr) or non-resident (under $165/yr).  See Fee Schedule.

If a police record exists, your application will be on hold until the License Inspector reviews the Police Information Check.

Remember, we are here to help! The staff at Planning & Development Services will answer your questions, and will assist you obtain your business license. Contact:

Planning & Development Services
Second floor, City Hall
580 1st Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB  T1A 8E6
Phone 403.529.8374
pbe@medicinehat.ca

4 - When engaging in door-to-door sales:

You must carry the ID card which was issued to you.

Only engage in door-to-door sales between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., and not on statutory holidays.

Always be respectful.

Remember: your City business license has an expiry date, which is dependent on the term you requested on your application.



If door-to-door activities do not involve sales of any kind, then typically a City business license is not required. However, there are provincial regulations (see below).

Door-to-door activities which do not require a City business license:

  Fundraising for registered non-profit groups (i.e. health foundations, school groups), or;

  Marketing or promotion not involving sales (i.e. churches, political candidates), or;

  Information gathering by governments, law enforcement, fire services, etc.

 

Alberta regulations state that a charitable organization or fund-raising business:

  Cannot imply they are endorsed by the Government of Alberta;

  Cannot claim that anyone sponsors or approves of their cause without the written consent of the parties involved;

  Must use their best efforts to remove a person’s name from their donor list and stop sending requests for donations if asked to do so;

  Cannot say they’re asking for contributions to be used for a specific charitable purpose if the contributions will not be used in that way; 

  Cannot make false statements or misrepresent facts in their solicitations.

No one may ask for donations for any charitable purpose or organization or use their emblem or printed matter without the charitable organization’s written consent.

Only engage in door-to-door activities between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., and not on statutory holidays (including non-profit door-to-door visits).

For more information, visit Service Alberta > Fundraising



In some areas where there is a lot of competition in certain industries, you may find that people will knock on your door to sell you their products or services. Before you buy anything from a door-to-door representative, you should do some research. This means asking the salesperson to come back at another time. Be very careful about signing anything.

DOOR-TO-DOOR ENERGY SALES BANNED: Effective January 1, 2017, the Government of Alberta banned door-to-door sales of furnaces and related products and services including water heaters, air conditioners, windows, energy contracts and energy audits.

Service Alberta has a free guide to help consumers understand door-to-door sales:
icon_PDFConsumer Tips - Dealing With Door-to-Door Sales



Direct sales
(direct selling) refers to selling products directly to the consumer in a non-retail environment. Instead, sales occur at home, work, internet, trade shows or (rarely) door-to-door.