A collection agency is defined as a person, other than a collector, who carries on the business of:
- collecting or attempting to collect debt or debts from a debtor in Alberta under any name that differs from that of the creditor to whom the debt is or was originally owed, regardless of to whom or where the payment is made
- on behalf of another person
- where the person has purchased a debt or debts that is or are in arrears
Unless they are collecting a debt of which they are the original creditor or owner, acquired the debt through a merger, the acquisition of another business, the seizure of accounts receivable under a security agreement, or were assigned the debt for the purpose of financing the transaction.
Specific information on the exemptions can be found in section 1(b) of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation.
If your business does not require this licence, you do not need to proceed further.
How to apply
You will need to provide:
- information on your business
- a criminal record check or police information check
- a completed collector application form
- a security
- trust account information
- additional information
- payment for a licensing fee
You need to ensure your collectors are licensed to operate in Alberta.
To get started, follow the instructions below to save and open the application form.
PDF form issues
Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:
- Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
- Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.
If you are still having problems opening the form, contact PDF form technical support.
Licence holders must notify Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction in writing within 15 days of a change in:
- business address
- partners of the business if the licence is issued to a partnership
- officers or directors of the corporation if the licence is issued to a corporation
Licence holders must notify Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction in writing within 15 days of ceasing to carry on the activities for which the licence was issued.
It is your responsibility to ensure your licence is in force as long as you continue to do business. Once your licence is issued, note the expiry date and ensure your licence is renewed prior to this date.
Licensees must be able to provide confirmation of licensing on request. This can be done by providing a copy of the licence or by providing other confirmation that the business is properly licensed. This can include providing a link to the Find a Licensed Business search tool.
Note: applicant, directors, officers and partners are required to read the Consumer Protection Act and its regulations associated with this licence and understand that certain sections are of significance, including but not limited to the specific sections noted below.
Collection Agency Compliance Standards – Read and understand
- Section 12.1 regarding knowledge of the legislation and prohibited collection practices – the maximum one-time fee for a dishonoured cheque or pre-authorized debit is $25
- Section 13 regarding advertising
- Sections 14 through 20 regarding maintaining a trust account
- Section 21 regarding issuance of receipts
- Section 21.1 regarding settlement agreements
- Section 22 regarding reports to creditors
- Section 23.1 regarding credit reporting
- Section 23.2 regarding complete accounting of a debt to the debtor
- Section 23.3 regarding retaining records
Copies of legislation can be obtained from the Alberta King’s Printer.