Collection Agency Licence

Definition

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, or

  • 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.        

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 for a collection agency business you must provide the following:

  • Completed Application (pdf) for Collection Agency Licence (Note: A licensing fee of $168 for the agency.  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.  This fee is for a one-year licence.  Licences take effect the date they are issued.  The department will send you a notice and the appropriate form(s) before your licence needs to be renewed.  Licence holders must notify Service Alberta in writing if the address on their business licence changes.)

  • Completed Application (pdf) for Collector’s Licence (fee of $72 for each collector)

  • Original, signed security in the amount of $25,000*.  You may get this security in one of two ways:
    (Security does not apply to agencies that are only collecting debts that they have purchased.)

    • 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, 3C,  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 license 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 following: the department’s previous history with the business and its partners or directors, the business’s financial history, and criminal convictions.
  • Completed Trust Account Information form (pdf) (this form is not required if the agency will only be collecting debts that they have purchased)

  • Include the address information for all offices that will be conducting collection activity in Alberta

  • The Director must approve all first part collection where the agency will be contacting debtors in the name of the client

General Information

Collection agencies should pay particular attention to the following sections:

  • Section 12 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding knowledge of the legislation and prohibited collection practices

  • Section 13 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding advertising

  • Sections 14 through 20 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding maintaining a trust account

  • Section 21 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding issuance of receipts

  • Section 21.1 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding settlement agreements

  • Section 22 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding reports to creditors

  • Section 23.1 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding credit reporting

  • Section 23.2 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding complete accounting of a debt to the debtor

  • Section 23.3 of the Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation regarding retaining records

Legislation

Fair Trading Act

Collection and Debt Repayment Practices Regulation

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

Park Plaza, 5 floor
10611-98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta   T5K 2P7
Telephone: 780-427-4952 

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

Problems opening PDF forms?


If your web browser does not open the PDF form, download the form then open the saved PDF using Adobe Reader.  To do this:

  • Right-click on the form link and select "Save Target As"
  • Save the file to a known location on your system
  • Open the file with Adobe Reader

NOTE:  In some cases you may need to click on the "Enable All Features" button in Adobe Reader

Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers may need to be configured to work with PDFs.

To open the PDF forms, you’ll need to use the current version of Adobe Reader.