Overview

Direct Selling is the business of soliciting, negotiating or concluding sales contracts in person at any place other than the seller’s place of business. These contracts are for goods or services that will be purchased by an individual for primarily personal, family or household use.

Note: A direct selling business shall not solicit, negotiate or conclude a consumer transaction for furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, windows or energy audits, in person at a consumer's home unless the following condition is met. Before the business attends at the consumer's home the business is expressly invited into the home by the consumer by:

  • phone, email, text or other electronic communication
  • through the business's website
  • in person at the business's normal place of business or at such other place where the direct selling business is conducting business

Cost

There is a 2-year licensing fee of $120, payable to the Government of Alberta.

How to apply

You will need to complete an application form, provide a security, provide a copy of a sales contract or invoice and pay a licensing fee. To get started, follow these instructions to save and open the application and other applicable forms.

Failure to provide complete information will delay processing of your application and may result in a refund of your fees and closure of your file.

Step 1. Fill out the application form

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

Application for a Business Licence (PDF, 83 KB)

Step 2. Obtain and provide security

Obtain and provide an original, signed security in the required amount*.

The amount required for a security instrument for businesses that are direct sellers is based on the total value of the items or services to be sold, except for specific business classifications. In some cases, the Director of Fair Trading may require increased security; otherwise, the following amounts apply:

  • When the value of items or services in a sales contract is $1000 or less, the security instrument required is $10,000.
  • When the value of items or services in a sales contract is more than $1000, the security instrument required is $25,000.
  • No security required if sales are less than $25 (unless business is Donor-Fund Raiser).

Exceptions:

Direct Sellers who are also Donor-Fund Raisers (donate a portion of their profits to a charitable organization or charitable purpose) must supply security in the amount of $10,000.

The following business classifications require a $50,000 security instrument:

  • Home Movers
  • Mobile Homes
  • Modular Homes
  • Prepackaged Homes
  • Sunrooms/Solariums

The following business classifications require a $25,000 security instrument:

  • Heating/HVAC
  • Finance Company

You may get this security in one of 4 ways:

  • General Surety Bond
  • Cash Security Agreement accompanied by one of the following:
    • Irrevocable Letter of Credit
    • Cash (bank draft, money order or certified cheque payable to the Government of Alberta)
    • Term deposit or similar instrument in the name of the Government of Alberta, c/o Service Alberta, 3rd Floor, 10155 102 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 4L4, in trust for (name of licensee)

Depending upon the option selected please do the following:

  • General Surety Bond (PDF, 121 KB)
    • The surety company will complete and provide you with a signed and sealed original of the form. You will need to review, sign, affix your company seal or have your signature witnessed, and provide the original to the address on the form.
    • The form may be found at https://cfr.forms.gov.ab.ca/Form/CONP0045.pdf (PDF, 121 KB). Please provide this address to your Surety Company.
  • Cash Security Agreement (PDF, 120 KB)
  • Irrevocable Letter of Credit (PDF, 119 KB)
    • The financial institution will complete and provide you with a signed original of the form letter. You will need to review and provide the original to the address on the form.
    • The form may be found at https://cfr.forms.gov.ab.ca/Form/CONP0123.pdf (PDF, 119 KB). Please provide this address to your financial institution.

* In accordance with the Security agreement, the security provided will be held for 2 years after the agreement expires or 2 years and 3 months (27 months) from the date the business licence expires, or the business closes or longer in the event of a claim being received. The amount of security given is a minimum security requirement. The amount could increase at the discretion of the Director of Fair Trading. When setting the security amount, the Director can consider the department’s previous history with the business and its partners or directors, the business’ financial history, and criminal convictions.

Step 3. Provide a copy of the sales contract or invoice

  • The contract or invoice must include a statement of cancellation rights that conforms with the requirements set out in the regulations and must:
    • contain the words set out in the Schedule
    • show the title in not less than 12 point bold type
    • show the statement of 10-day cancellation rights in not less than 12 point bold type
    • show the remainder of the information in not less than 10 point type

Note: If the Buyer’s Right to Cancel cannot be printed on the front of the contract, a notice must be printed in not less than 12 point bold font indicating where on the contract it can be found.

The following must appear in each statement of cancellation rights:

Buyer’s Right to Cancel

You may cancel this contract from the day you enter into the contract until 10 days after you receive a copy of the contract. You do not need a reason to cancel.

If you do not receive the goods or services within 30 days of the date stated in the contract, you may cancel this contract within one year of the contract date. You lose that right if you accept delivery after the 30 days. There are other grounds for extended cancellation. For more information, you may contact your provincial/territorial consumer affairs office.

If you cancel this contract, the seller has 15 days to refund your money and any trade-in, or the cash value of the trade-in. You must then return the goods.

To cancel, you must give notice of cancellation at the address in this contract. You must give notice of cancellation by a method that will allow you to prove that you gave notice, including registered mail, fax or by personal delivery.

Step 4. Provide additional information

In certain circumstances additional documents are required:

Step 5. Submit the application form

Email your application form, a copy of a sales contract or invoice, and any required additional information to sa.businesslicensing@gov.ab.ca. Provide your original security document(s) to the address noted on the form(s). You will be contacted to set-up online payment for the one-time $120 licensing fee.

You may also mail or drop off your application package to the address noted on the application. You may pay by credit card online, by credit card or debit card in person at our office, or you may mail a cheque or money order to our office.

When paying by cheque or money order please make it payable to the Government of Alberta.

Processing of your application will not start until payment is received.

After you apply

Licence takes effect the day the licence is 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 please make note of the expiry date and ensure your licence is renewed prior to this date.

Licence holders must notify Service Alberta 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 in writing within 15 days of ceasing to carry on the activities for which the licence was issued.

Your responsibilities

  • All records, files, books, papers and other related documents must be maintained for 3 years after creation
  • A business must have a licence and must produce it when asked to by a police officer, a person it approaches to make a direct sale or an officer of Service Alberta, Consumer Services Division
  • The business must provide an identification card for persons selling on its behalf
    • The identification card must have the person’s name and the business name, address and licence number, and must be signed by the signing authority appointed by the business.
    • The individual must produce their identification card when asked to by a police officer, a person to whom they make or attempt to make a direct sale, or an authorized Officer of Service Alberta, Consumer Services Division.
  • If any of the applicant, partners, directors or officers primary residence is Out-of-Canada, a criminal record check is required from the jurisdiction of the individual’s primary residence which follows the requirements set out by Citizenship and Immigration Canada or a check provided by a local policing organization (i.e., state or municipal police service) provided the results include national records. For US applicants, a criminal history record information check performed by a vendor from this list is also acceptable.
  • Compliance

Copies of legislation can be obtained from the Queen’s Printer Bookstore.

Renewing a licence

You may use Service Alberta’s PABLO (Province of Alberta Business Licensing Online) to renew your licence.

PABLO System

This system is used for processing payments, printing issued licenses and renewing licenses.

  • Applications submitted by email, fax or without payment will have a user ID created in the name of the applicant and provided to their email address. They will need to submit payment or their application will not be processed.
  • Once issued, licenses are made available electronically for printing by the business. If an ID does not already exist one will be created and provided to the applicant’s email address along with notification the licence has been issued. If an ID was created for payment of the fees the applicant will receive an email notification the licence has been issued.
  • Within 60 days prior to the expiry of a licence a renewal may be processed using this system. Mark your calendar as a reminder so you stay continuously licensed.

Contact

To connect with the Consumer Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4088
Toll free: 1-877-427-4088 (in Alberta)
Email: sa.businesslicensing@gov.ab.ca