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Do I need a license to start a laboratory business in Canada?

by Stepan Reut

Usually, you do not need a license to operate a calibration or chemical testing laboratory in Canada. I believe medical labs, food labs, pharmaceutical labs, cannabis testing, drinking water testing, some microbiological laboratories, radiation laboratories, and some others should be licensed.

Licensing is usually issued by governmental offices and is a formal permit to operate. It is different from CERTIFICATION or ACCREDITATION.

Certification is a typical quality requirement. For example, your client may want you to be certified by the state of New York. This kind of certification means that your lab results will be well received by the authorities of this state. But it does not mean that they will be accepted by the state of California.

Accreditation is the highest level of recognition of the laboratory work quality. Every country has at least one, sometimes several “accreditation bodies”, that are allowed to review performance of a particular laboratory and accredit it for a particular test or a group of tests. For example: ABC laboratory is accredited by CALA to ISO 17025-2017 standard for analysis of Lead in water.

And by the way, if you want to hire me as an independent consultant to help your company with starting a new lab, please contact me through the CONTACT US form. I offer my services in video conference format and in-person.

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It is my personal technical blog about laboratory business. 

All content is based on my first-hand experience of being a business entrepreneur, laboratory owner, laboratory manager, QC manager, laboratory auditor, site assessor for AIHA-LAP, and a bench chemist. 
If you like what you read here, and need my help with establishing your laboratory business in Canada or your home country, please send me a message.

Truly yours,
Stepan Reut, Ph.D.
London, Ontario, Canada
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