Overview

A Payday Lender:

  • offers, arranges or provides a payday loan to a borrower in Alberta
  • operates from business premises or on the Internet

A Payday Loan means:

  • any advancement of money with a principal of $1,500 or less and a term of 62 days or less made in exchange for a post-dated cheque, a pre-authorized debit or a future payment of a similar nature, but not for any guarantee, suretyship, overdraft protection or security on property and not through a margin loan, pawnbrokering, a line of credit or a credit card.

Cost

There is a 1 or 2-year licensing fee, payable to the Government of Alberta.

  • For one-year licences – a licensing fee of $1,000 for a licence and the first location plus $500 for each additional location specified on the application
  • For 2-year licences – a licensing fee of $2,000 for a licence and the first location plus $1,000 for each additional location specified on the application

How to apply

You will need to complete an application form, an addendum form, provide a security, provide a copy of the business’ standard loan agreement 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. Fill out the addendum form

Application for a Business Licence Addendum for Payday Loans (PDF, 94 KB)

Step 3. Obtain and provide security

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

The amount of security depends on the number of business locations and if the business is an Internet lender. Please contact the licensing office to find out how much security you need to provide.

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 4. Provide additional information

Provide copies of the following:

  • business’ standard loan agreement
  • Cancellation Notice form
  • form used to acknowledge the receipt of the loan cancellation
  • form used to acknowledge receipt of payments made by the borrower. The receipt must include the following information:
    • Name of the borrower
    • Date of payment
    • Agreement number of the payday loan on which the payment was made
    • Amount paid
    • Amount still owing on the payday loan, if any
  • sign required under the Consumer Protection Act section 124.8 (2). The sign shall consist of only the following information in the following order:
    • The words “Maximum total cost of borrowing permitted in Alberta for a payday loan: $15 per $100 lent”;
    • The words “We charge ________”, indicating the payday lender's total charges for a payday loan;
    • The words “Payday loans are a form of high-cost credit";
    • The words “This information meets the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act
    • Payday Loans Business Licence number

In certain circumstances additional documents are required:

Step 5. Submit the application form

Email your application form, addendum form, a copy of the business’ standard loan agreement, 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 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

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