Business Licence fees return

On March 1, 2021, Council approved $30 million for directed relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19. This included immediate fee relief in the form of waiving business licensing and related fees for 2021 and 2022. This fee relief is now coming to an end, and business licence fees (both new licences and renewals) will be reinstated on March 17, 2023.  The business licence fees remain unchanged from the 2020 costs, and are as follows:

·       Business licence fee (new: $172, renewal: $131)

·       Fire inspection fee (new & renewal, from $63 - $208)

·       Planning fee ($41)

·       Police Information Check ($65)

All businesses operating in Calgary are encouraged to register their business with The City of Calgary. Business licences are required depending on the business activity. Once registered, businesses may also need additional permits or inspections.

“Although the fee waiver is coming to an end, The City continues to support Calgary businesses though other programs,” says Erin Chrusch, Leader of the Business and Local Economy (BLE) group at The City of Calgary. “This includes the creation of the Business Experience Representative Team, which helps support businesses applying for that licence by giving them a single point of contact to help guide them through the process.”

Business Experience Representatives will guide customers through the process of applying for a business licence. One person will monitor a file from application to approval. Business Experience Representatives are currently able to assist with business licence applications for restaurants and breweries, urban agriculture, childcare, short-term rentals and automotive with plans to expand to other industries by the end of the year.

“The Business Experience Representative Team really represents a one-stop shop approach to your business licence application,” explains Senior Business Experience Representative Heather Hill. “Once you apply for a licence you’re immediately assigned a file manager to help guide you through and make the application process easier to manage.”

Assigning a file manager to the licence application can help reduce the time it takes to complete the process. It will let the applicants know when they need to provide The City with certain documents, additional information, or direct them to the appropriate point of contact.

“A business licence ensures that all necessary approvals and inspections have been completed, and assures customers that they are entering a safe, approved business,” says Hill. “It’s an important step for both the business and their customers.”

For more information or help with their business licence application or renewal, Calgary businesses can visit: or call 403-268-5311.