All residential builders in Alberta must have a licence to obtain permits for constructing new homes.
When applying for a building permit for a new home, a builder must present a Certificate of Licence (builder licence) and the Approved New Home Registration for the new home to the permitting agency.
Licences are valid for one year from the date of issue, unless otherwise specified by the Registrar.
Builder licences are not transferrable. If a residential builder creates separate legal entities, such as numbered companies, each of those companies requires its own builder licence.
If the restructuring or renaming of a residential builder results in a new legal entity, the new legal entity requires a new builder licence.
You can apply for either a general contractor or developer licence depending on the types of homes you are building. It is important to apply for the correct class of licence for your business.
General contractor licence
A licensed general contractor can register properties where the Alberta Building Code does not require the involvement of a coordinating registered professional (typically single-family or multi-family homes up to 4 dwelling units).
A licensed developer can register properties where the Alberta Building Code requires the involvement of a coordinating registered professional (typically residential projects with 5 or more dwelling units, such as condominiums).
When a project requires a coordinating registered professional, the builder is required to have a developer licence.
A new licence is $600, and a renewal licence is $500.
Builder licence applications are processed within 14 business days. However, it could be longer if a builder fails to provide current and complete information.
Ensure that your builder profile is up-to-date and aligns with your information in the Alberta Corporate Registry.
Before applying for a new home building permit, residential builders must:
- Apply to be an authorized user of the New Home Buyer Protection System and create a builder profile.
- Apply for a builder licence by completing the questionnaire and pay the licence application fee.
- After being issued a builder licence, register the property you intend to build in the New Home Buyer Protection System and pay the $95 registration fee per residential unit.
- Once your warranty provider verifies that they will be providing warranty coverage for the new home(s), print out your Property Registration and Certificate of Licence. Bring these with you to the permitting office to apply for a new building permit.
Find how to purchase a permit in your area: Permits and Alberta’s Safety Code System.
Applying for a licence
Instructions on using the New Home Buyer Protection System and applying for a builder licence:
- Alberta Builder Licensing Application Process: Basic steps to apply online through MA Connect
- Residential Builder User Manual for NHBPS (PDF, 2.8 MB)
- Residential Builder Licence Renewal Steps (PDF, 401 KB)
- Builder Licensing – How to Apply video
Step 1. Sign up for access
Register your organization by creating a builder account in the New Home Buyer Protection System's Builder's Portal.
Complete and submit the New Home Buyer Protection System (NHBPS) Access Request form if you do not have an existing account.
Requests are processed within 5 business days.
Step 2: Fill out your builder profile
Once access is granted, you can populate your builder profile. Log in to the Builder’s Portal, click Launch and then click Builder Profile.
Please ensure that your builder profile is up-to-date and aligns with your information in the Alberta Corporate Registry:
- Under Contacts, list all directors, majority shareholders (25% or more shares) and officers.
- Under Associated Companies, list majority shareholder companies (25% or more shares) and all associated companies within the construction industry.
- Under Attachments, upload current and valid driver's licence copies for all directors, majority shareholders and officers.
An officer is:
- an employee of the corporation who is actually performing work that, if the employee were not working for the corporation, would require a licence (engaging in, managing or arranging for the construction of a new home)
- a supervisor of any employee described above
Step 3: Fill out the licence application
To access the licence application, click Licensing.
- For a new licence, select Apply for Licence
- For a renewal licence, select Apply for Renewal
You will need to indicate the class of licence you need. A General Contractor licence is required for constructing homes between 1-4 residential units. A Developer licence is required for constructing multi-family homes that are more than 5 units, such as condominiums.
You must indicate which warranty provider will be backing your properties and answer questions about:
- any history of fraud or building related court proceedings
- any undischarged bankruptcies or arrangements under the Companies' Creditor Arrangement Act that have not been completed
- your organization's compliance with safety and consumer protection legislation
Step 4: Pay for your application
You can choose to pay online or by mailing a printed copy of the invoice along with your payment.
Connect with the Residential Protection Program: