Payday Loan Business Licence

How it works


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.

Licensing Requirements

Note: 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.

To get a licence as a Payday Loan business you must provide the following:

  • Completed application form (pdf)
  • Completed Addendum for Payday Loans form (pdf)
  • Completed Statutory Declaration (pdf) for licensees who use independent contractors
  • Original, signed security in the amount.*  You may get this security in one of two ways:
    • General Surety Bond (pdf)
    • Cash Security Agreement (pdf) accompanied by:
      • An Irrevocable Letter of Credit (pdf) or
      • Cash (including payment by bank draft, money order, certified cheque - all of these are payable to the Government of Alberta), or
      • A term deposit or other similar instrument in the name of the Government of Alberta, c/o Service Alberta, 3rd floor, 10155 - 102 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 4L4, in trust for (Name of licensee).

* Note:  In accordance with the Security Agreement, the security provided will be held for two (2) years after the agreement expires or for two years and three 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 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. When setting the security amount, the Director can consider the following: the department’s previous history with the business and its partners or directors, the business’s financial history, and criminal convictions.

  • Payment of the Licence Fee

  • Licences may be obtained for either one or two year terms
  • For one year licences - a licensing fee of $1000 for a licence and the first location plus $500 for each additional location specified on the application
  • For two year licences - a licensing fee of $2000 for a licence and the first location plus $1,000 for each additional location specified on the application

(Note: Your cheque should be made payable to the Government of Alberta. If you are applying in person, you can also pay this fee using Debit, Visa, MasterCard, or cash.)

Licences take effect the date they are issued. It is your responsibility to ensure your licence is in force as long as you continue to do business as defined for this type of licence. 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 if their business licence address changes.

  • A copy of the business’ standard loan agreement
  • A copy of the Cancellation Notice form
  • A copy of the form used to acknowledge the receipt of the loan cancellation
  • A copy of the form used to acknowledge receipt of payments made by the borrower
  • A copy of the sign required under 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

General Information

A business must have a licence and must prominently display a copy of the licence in each location named to which the licence pertains. If a business operates on the Internet, a copy of the licence must be displayed prominently at or near the top of the introductory page of the website for Alberta borrowers.

As per s. 17 (2)(b) of the Payday Loans Regulation, the maximum one-time fee that can be charged for a dishonoured cheque or dishonoured pre-authorized debit is $25. This fee is not considered part of the maximum cost of borrowing or the 2.5% per month maximum interest rate for a defaulted payday loan. Fees for dishonoured cheques or dishonoured pre-authorized debits can only be charged on the initial attempt to process a payment instrument and subsequent attempts where the borrower has expressly consented, in writing, electronically, or by recorded audio, to the processing of that payment instrument on that date.

Payday Loan Business Compliance Standards (pdf)

Beginning January 1, 2018, payday lenders must ensure they meet standards as set by the Director.

Loan Agreement Requirements

Written loan agreements will be required. The agreements must conform with the requirements set out in the Cost of Credit Disclosure Regulation under the Consumer Protection Act.

Receipt for Payment

Written receipts for payment will be required. The receipts 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


Consumer Protection Act

Payday Loans Regulation

Cost of Credit Disclosure Regulation

An Act to End Predatory Lending

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

Park Plaza, 5 floor
10611-98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta 
T5K 2P7

Phone: 780-427-4952

To call a Government of Alberta office toll-free (in Alberta), dial 310-0000 and follow the instructions.

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