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How To Launch Your Renovation Company In Canada

Last modified: 2022-08-17 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

If you have a knack for home renovations and have completed some jobs with appreciable success, why not consider home renovations as a career path? Those with an entrepreneurial mindset might even want to start their own business, as the renovation industry is lucrative even when the economy is struggling.

However, starting your own home renovation business isn't as simple as just grabbing a hammer and going ahead with it. One must consider licenses, certifications, health, safety and labour regulations, as well as legal questions. On top of these important factors are the province and trade dependant stipulations, as each Canadian province has their own rules to follow. is here to offer advice if you're considering starting up a renovation company in Nova Scotia, Ontario or Alberta:

Launching your renovation company in Nova Scotia

Launching your renovation company in Nova Scotia

source: WikimediaCommons

In Nova Scotia, the Labour and Workforce Development, specifically the Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development Division, are those who regulate trades. They require tradespeople to have compulsory certification, and potentially, the proper licenses alongside certification.

If you are interested in becoming a tradesperson in NS, you must take a designated trade program, designed around practical experience as well as technical training. The course concludes with an exam, and the student will receive a Certificate of Qualification and a Certificate of Apprenticeship upon passing.

Those who have worked in trade and possess the necessary skills but are without the proper certifications can apply for a trade qualifier. This will offer certification without forcing them to complete additional training. However, they may have to complete a Red Seal standardized exam, certifying individuals who have extensive knowledge of trade but do not have the proper documents necessary to work.

As with most provinces, other certifications or permits are required based on the trade you are practicing as well as the municipality where you will be practicing. Halifax's rules differ from the rest of the province, so make sure to look into the specifics before going forward with your business.

Launching your renovation company in Ontario

Launching your renovation company in Alberta

source: Flickr, Joseph Morris

The home renovation industry in Ontario has many layers. As a result, rules and regulations depend directly on whether you are working as a general contractor or a contractor with a specialty. When you first start your contracting business, it is important to establish three basic things: what licenses and regulations apply to the type of contracting you are doing, which business structure you are choosing and registering or incorporating your business accordingly. As well, you must determine if you need to collect and remit HST.

Businesses in Ontario may need licences from federal, provincial or municipal levels of government. It is necessary to check the Canada Business Permits and Licenses Search Network. Although home renovation businesses in Ontario are highly regulated, there are some common rules that apply to most businesses.

The Ontario College of Trades establishes apprenticeship and training programs while issuing Certifications of Qualification. To legally work in a skilled trade in Ontario, it is necessary to have a Certification of Qualification, stating that you have completed the necessary on-site training or apprenticeship for your business.

All members who have completed the training program can be found on their website, showing which contractors have the appropriate certifications. This helps to protect the interests of both the public as well as the tradespeople. If any complaints are made against a tradesperson, the college is responsible and must enforce charges.

In addition to this, one must check with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and the Electrical Contractor Registration Agency (ECRA) to see what is required if you plan on working as an electrician in any form.

Beyond this, there are specific types of compulsory trade licenses that are directly dependant on the type of contracting you wish to do. It is necessary to know which license you need based on the trade you practice. Also worth noting: there are certain municipal by-laws that are city dependant, and should be considered when starting your renovation business.

Launching your renovation company in Alberta

Launching your renovation company in Alberta

source: Flickr, Michael Gil

As with the other provinces listed, if you wish to start your own home renovation company in Alberta, it is necessary to obtain the required certification to move forward with your business. To work in Alberta as a tradesperson, all tradespeople are required to possess either the provincial journeyperson certification, have registered apprenticeship or valid recognized credentials.

Alongside the specific trade certification, each qualified tradesperson should have with them a pocket certificate that has been issued by Alberta Advanced Education. Further, in order to perform renovations in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge or Medicine Hat, a contractor's license is necessary. 

When a student completes an Alberta apprenticeship program, they are entitled to an Alberta Journeyperson Certificate as well as a Certificate of Qualification. Those coming from out of the province but interested in working as tradespeople in Alberta have the opportunity to pass a challenge exam in order to receive a Certificate of Qualification.

Those who are already registered apprentices must complete the regulated AIT program, or Apprenticeship and Industry Training Program, which has been standardized by the Alberta government.

AIT helps to regulate the work of tradespeople, keeping them dependable and competitive! If you are interested in pursuing a trade, it is best to check the Trades and Occupations list to find out the required apprenticeship, certifications and credentials required. Rules vary between municipalities, so it is also necessary to look into what is required when working in a specific area.

Find clients for your home renovation company can help you get home renovation contracts. We get requests from clients looking for trusted home renovation professionals just like you.  Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive information on how to get new clients for your renovation company through our service.

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