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Business licences

Closure of City of Ottawa Client Service Centres

All City of Ottawa Client Service Centres, including the Business Licensing Centre at 735 Industrial Avenue area closed.

Business Services are still available. For those requiring immediate assistance, you may contact the Business Licensing Centre by calling 613-580-2424 ext. 12735.

Food vendors in parks

The City of Ottawa is opening Food Vending spaces in a number of City of Ottawa park parking lots to assist local businesses and food truck/cart operators through the economic recovery efforts. This is an opportunity to offer food vending services in some of the City’s active park spaces for residents to enjoy through the summer months. A number of approved park locations are available for allocation during the 2020 summer season.

All interested Food vendors should fill out the application form and indicate their preferred park. The application deadline is Thursday June 25, at 4:30 p.m. Please consult the 2020 Food Vending in Parks Program: Information Package for more information.

Food vendors will only be permitted to sell in parks if they obtain the proper permissions, insurance and licenses beforehand.

Food vending spaces are available in the following parks:

Park locations
Park Name Park Address Ward
Cardinal Creek Community Park 1825 Trim Road 1
Heritage Park 6160 Orleans Blvd 2
Ken Ross Park 600 Longfields Drive 3
Beaverbrook Park 2500 Campeau Drive 4
Richcraft Recreation Complex (Parking Lot) 4101 Innovation Drive 4
Whalen Park 4111 Kanata Avenue 4
Village Square Park 6000 Abbott Street East (@ Stittsville Main) 6
Andrew Haydon Park 3169 Carling Avenue 7
Pinecrest Park 2250 Torquay Avenue 8
Ben Franklin Park 191 Knoxdale Road 9
General Burns Park 107 Chesterton Drive 9
Aladdin Park 3939 Albion Road 10
Eastvale Park 740 Eastvale Drive 11
Pineview/Stonehenge Park 1465 Ridgebrook Dr./1851 Stonehenge Cres. 11
Riverain Park 400 North River Road 12
Strathcona Park 25 Range Road 12
Laroche Park 52 Bayview Station Road 15
Celebration Park 200 Central Park Drive 16
Windsor Park 1B Windsor Avenue 17
Lynda Lane Park 580 Smyth Road 18
Aquaview Park 318 Aquaview Drive 19
Millennium Park 245 Millennium Boulevard 19
Greely Village Park 7292 Parkway Road 20
Victoria Park 8215 Victoria Street 20
Claudette Cain Park 600 River Road 22
Leitrim Park 3290 Leitrim Road 22
Walter Baker Park 100 Charlie Rogers Place 23

Register a new business

To register a new business online: 

To register a new business in person: This service is currently not available in person due to COVID-19 closures.

  • Go to the Service Ontario location at City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. West in Ottawa. For other locations offering Business registration services, check the Service Location Finder.

How do I close my business?

Other questions?

Call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

Businesses that require a municipal licence

If you own or operate a business in the City of Ottawa, you may require a municipal business license. Below is a list of businesses that are licensed by the City of Ottawa and the locations at which applications for such licenses can be made.

Available at a City of Ottawa Client Service Centre

  • Amusement Place
  • Auctioneer
  • Exhibition
  • Flea Market
  • Food Premise (restaurants, bakeries, butchers & caterers)
  • Pet Shop
  • Public Garage (car dealers, car rentals, car wash, gas station, auto repair shop, auto body shop)
  • Rickshaw
  • Salvage Yard
  • Second Hand Goods Shop
  • Snow Plow Contractor
  • Temporary Sign Lessor
  • Tobacco Vendor

Other permits and licenses available at a Client Service Centre

  • Noise By-law Exemption Permit
  • Open Air Fire Permit
  • Pet Registration (Dog and Cat License)

Available at the Business Licensing Centre, 735 Industrial Ave.

  • Adult Entertainment Parlour
  • Adult Entertainment Store
  • All Night Dance Event (Rave)
  • Body Rub Parlour
  • Driving School
  • Exotic Animal Entertainment
  • Exotic Animal Rescue Establishment
  • Fireworks Pyrotechnic Event
  • Itinerant Seller
  • Kennel
  • Limousine
  • Lottery
  • Payday Loan Establishment
  • Private Parking Enforcement Agency
  • Refreshment Cart and Vehicle
  • Rooming House
  • Taxi                                                                                                                                        

Business Hours

Business Licensing Centre
735 Industrial Avenue Counter, 2nd floor
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Client Services Centres

Agency letter of approval

Building Code

When requesting Ontario Building Code (link is external) approval from Building Services Branch, applicants must provide a floor plan (seating plan) indicating tables and chairs, washrooms, exits, etc., and a site plan. A minimum of 10 business days is required to process an application. A Building Official will verify the zoning designation of the premises and conduct a site visit to confirm that the requirements for the occupancy load under the Ontario Building Code are met.

Building Services Branch Fee Schedule

For information on the zoning designation of the location, please contact the Development Information Officer for your area by
calling 3-1-1.

Fire Prevention

Prior to Fire Prevention conducting the inspection, the premises must be ready to open with chairs, tables, etc. If a patio requires an inspection, it must have tables, chairs, etc. set up as well. If the premise required approval under the Ontario Building Code, there must be compliance with the Building Code prior to the Fire Inspection. A minimum of 10 business days is required to process an application for a Fire Inspection. If further information is required, please call 613-580-2424, extension 15371. For additional requirements, visit the Fire Prevention web page.

Health

When requesting Health Protection and Promotion Act approval from Ottawa Public Health, applicants should contact their Public Health Inspector either directly or by calling 580-6744, to arrange for an inspection. They should also have their application form available for the inspector during the visit. For additional information, visit the Health Department web page.

Licensing

Your business may require a Business Licence.

BizPaL (Business Permits and Licences)

BizPaL is an innovative online service that provides entrepreneurs with simplified access to information about business permits, licences and other requirements needed to start, operate and grow their business from the federal, provincial/territorial and participating municipal governments.

Benefits of BizPaL

Finding out which government requirements apply to a certain business type can be time consuming and frustrating. BizPaL was created to help identify what you may require, quickly and easily. The information you need is available from a single source; entrepreneurs spend less time dealing with red tape - saving effort and money in the process - and more time building their business. The service is the result of strong collaboration between the federal, provincial/territorial and participating municipal governments and is designed with the following benefits in mind:

BizPaL logo

  • It's free to use
  • It saves time
  • It’s available 24/7

Launch the BizPaL service

Read these helpful hints before using BizPaL

  • Business type not found: Please note that some types of businesses are not yet included in BizPaL. Contact us if you cannot find a suitable category.
  • Mandatory questions: ALL questions must be answered before continuing to the next step.
  • Asterisk: An asterisk beside a permit or licence name indicates that you must contact the issuing organization and provide more information to determine if you need this permit or licence.
  • Results page: After you answer all questions and obtain your results page, you can begin to contact the issuing organizations to proceed with acquiring your permits and licences.

Key troubleshooting tips:

  • Scrolling: Some browsers may experience navigational issues. To ensure you review all required information, please scroll to the top of each page.
  • Printing: Print your results using the “Printer Friendly” button on the last page, rather than using the “Printable Version” link.
  • Saving: Some browsers require that you select ‘Save as type: Web archive’’ to save your results to your computer.
  • Hyperlinks: Some hyperlinks do not display due to technical limitations. Please copy and paste each link into a new browser window.

Please contact us if you experience other issues with BizPaL.

Apply for a business licence

Your licence application may require an inspection and approval by staff of zoning, buildings, police, health, fire and property standards. The Business Licensing Centre will coordinate this process and advise you of your status.

What permits or licences do I need?

You may require a municipal business license if you are planning to operate a business in Ottawa. Use BizPal to find information on business permits and licenses from all levels of government.

Business licence application form

How long must I wait before my licence is issued?

The review process varies based on the approvals that are required. In most cases, licences can be issued within six weeks of receiving the application; some licences are even issued within minutes. However, you may experience a delay if you did not submit enough information or if you failed to meet some of the licensing requirements.

Will I have to renew my licence each year?

Most licences have an annual expiry date. You will be notified by mail of your approaching expiry date. Upon notification, you should promptly renew your licence to avoid a late fee.

For more information contact:

Are you planning to open a restaurant, bakery, café, butcher shop or another type of food establishment? The City of Ottawa has resources to assist business owners who are starting to plan and operate a new food establishment, including the Business Ambassador Service and the online Food Premises Application tool available on My ServiceOttawa.

Adult entertainment store license

An adult entertainment store licence is required for any business that sells adult videos or magazines appealing to erotic or sexual appetites.

Approximate cost

  • $746 if principal business
  • $124 if incidental to principal business

The license expires annually on December 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks*

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • the applicant is 18 years of age
  • the premises complies with zoning, building code, fire code and property standards requirements
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Adult entertainment parlour owner and operator license

Adult entertainment parlour owner and adult entertainment operator licences are required for the owner of and operators or managers of any premises or part of a premises which provides live entertainment or services appealing to erotic or sexual appetites. These are commonly known as “strip clubs”.

Approximate cost

  • Owner: $7,166 annually
  • Operator: $1,403 annually

The license expires annually on January 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age and if an operator has provided photographs
  • The applicant has provided the original documents from the issuing agency outlining the results of investigations related to the applicant for a Police Records Check for the Service with the Vulnerable Sector, dated less than 30 days prior to the date of the application for a license
  • The owner provides a floor plan and the building complies with restricted location, zoning, building code, public health, fire code and property standards requirements
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature
  • The business has $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information
  • The licences are non-transferable
  • This information is provided for reference only please refer to the Business Licensing By-law for the legal requirements

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

All night dance event license

An All Night Dance Event licence is required for an event that offers live or pre-recorded music between the hours of 3am and 9am. The principal activities of these events include listening and dancing to music.  These events are commonly referred to as “raves”.

Approximate cost

  • $369 per event

Approximate timeline

  • 4 weeks*

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • the applicant is 18 years of age and is the promoter of the event
  • the applicant provides a detailed plan of the event
  • the owner of the premises,  if not the applicant,  authorizes its use for the event
  • the premises where the event is to be held is licensed by the City of Ottawa as an Amusement Place
  • the premises has been approved by Ottawa Public Health
  • the premises and applicant (provide a Criminal Records Check)have  been approved by Ottawa Police
  • the business has  $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information
  • the licences are issued per event and are non-transferable
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

This information is provided for reference only please refer to the Business Licensing By-law for the legal requirements

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Amusement place license

An amusement place license is required for a business that provides entertainment or amusement and includes:  five or more arcade machines and/or, five or more billiard or pool tables, a bowling alley, golf driving range, roller skating or a hall where entertainment is provided.

Approximate cost

  • $247 annually

This license is non-transferable and expires annually on March 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant has provided a Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector
  • Ensure that business opening date is within four to six weeks of application date
  • The building complies with zoning, building code, fire code and property standards requirements for the specific activities identified by the applicant
  • The premises has been approved by Ottawa Public Health
  • Proof the business has $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
    • Proof must be a valid certificate not a quotation, binder or renewal slip.
    • If applicable to the licensed activity, such insurance shall be endorsed to include Liquor License Act Liability or Host Liquor Liability insurance.
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Auctioneer license

An auctioneer license is required for a person selling goods, wares, merchandise or effects and livestock by public auction. 

Approximate cost

  • $214 daily
  • $522 annually*

*The license expires annually on April 30.

Approximate timeline

  • Usually issued on intake

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age and is the auctioneer
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735.

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Body-rub parlour license

A body-rub parlour licence is required for any premises where a body-rub is performed, offered or solicited. A licence is not required when the body-rubs performed are for the purposes of medical or therapeutic treatment and are performed by persons qualified, licensed or registered to do so under the laws of the Province of Ontario.

Approximate cost

  • $1,403 annually

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks*

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • the applicant is 18 years of age and is the owner of the business
  • the applicant provides a Criminal Records Check
  • the premises complies with restricted location, zoning, building code, public health, fire code and property standards requirements
  • the business has $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature
  • the licences are non-transferable

This information is provided for reference only please refer to the Business Licensing By-law for the legal requirements

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Driving school: operator, instructor and vehicle licenses

A driving school operator licence is required for a business that teaches individuals to operate motor vehicles. A driving school instructor licence is required for each person who teaches a person to operate a motor vehicle. A driving school vehicle licence is required for each vehicle utilized by a driving school.

Approximate cost

  • Operator: $513
  • Instructor: $222
  • Vehicle: $53 upon initial inspection 

The license expires annually on June 30.

Approximate timeline

  • Usually issued on intake*

*Stated timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • Please refer to Business Licensing By-law for specific details

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Exhibition license

An exhibition license is required for any event organized by a promoter and operating under a theme or general subject with five or more vendors.*  These are usually short-term events with sale or promotion themes, for example, a trade, sports or home show.

Four or less exhibitors: each person must go to 735 Industrial Avenue and obtain an Itinerant Business License.

* This License does not apply to food vendors at the event

Approximate cost

  • $336 for the first day and $53 for every additional day

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant is the promoter of the event
  • The applicant provides a detailed plan of the event and a complete list of vendors
  • The location or premises complies with zoning, building code, fire code and property standards requirements for the specific activities identified by the applicant
  • The premises has been approved by Ottawa Public Health
  • The business has $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance.  
    • Proof must be a valid certificate, not a quotation, binder or renewal slip.  Review insurance checklist for required information.
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Exotic animal entertainment event and exotic animal rescue establishment licenses

An exotic animal entertainment licence is required for any exhibit, public show, circus, carnival or any act of entertainment using live exotic animals. This includes the use of a live exotic animal in any film or television production. An exotic animal rescue establishment licence is required for any establishment which exhibits, displays or houses any live exotic animal for purposes of rescue and education.

Approximate cost

  • Exotic Animal Entertainment Event: $336 per event
  • Exotic Animal Rescue Establishment Licence: $197 annual

The license expires annually on December 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 4 weeks** Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • Floor Plan
  • proof of ownership or lease 
  • Articles of Incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature
  • the business has $5 million Commercial General Liability insurance.  Review insurance checklist for required information.
  • Please refer to Business Licensing By-law for specific details

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Flea market license

A flea market license is required for any indoor or outdoor flea market that is open to the general public and has more than five vendors.

Exemptions:

The requirement for a flea market license does not apply to:

  • Farmers’ Markets and events that are sponsored by and benefit Farmers’ Markets
  • Public markets managed by the City;
  • Agricultural Fairs and events that are sponsored by and benefit Agricultural Fairs and includes the Kars Fair;
  • The Ottawa Valley Farm Show;
  • Coin, Stamp, Card and Comic Book trade shows;
  • The Central Canada Exhibition;
  • Flea markets that primarily promotes original arts and crafts creations by Canadian artists;
  • Flea markets raising funds for a charitable organization provide that the organization has a Revenue Canada number and the profits go to the charitable organization represented;
  • Flea markets raising funds for not-for-profit organizations that operate solely for cultural or religious goals, civic improvement, recreation, sport or similar community enhancement initiatives but not for profit provided that the profits go to the not-for-profit organization represented;
  • An event that takes place indoors at a shopping mall.

Approximate cost

  • $336 daily
  • $2,103 Annually

These licenses are non-transferable and expire annually on December 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant is the operator of the flea market
  • The applicant provides a detailed plan of the flea market and a complete list of vendors
  • The location or premises complies with zoning, building code, fire code and property standards requirements
  • The premises has been approved by Ottawa Public Health
  • The business has $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
    • Proof must be a valid certificate not a quotation, binder or renewal slip
  • Proof of ownership, lease or written permission from property owner 
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Food premises license

A food premises license is required for any business that prepares food including bakeshops, butcher shops, caterers, cafés, lunch counters, cafeterias and restaurants. This applies to free standing structures only, whereas refreshment carts, trucks and stands are covered by other license categories.

A food premises license is not required where grab and go foods are available, like at gas stations where the customer does not prepare or heat the food product. In these cases, the food must be pre-packaged or the customer must serve themselves. It is also not required for not-for-profit organizations that provide meals for the homeless or in facilities providing residential care services that include meals.

Approximate cost

  • $265 annually

This license is transferrable and expire annually on March 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The business opening date is within four to six weeks of application date
  • The building complies with zoning, building code, public health, fire code and property standards requirements
  • The business has  $1 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
    • Proof must be a valid certificate not a quotation, binder or renewal slip.
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Are you looking to build a patio for your food establishment?

Click here for more information about obtaining a permit.

Who to contact

The Business Information Officer by email bio1stop@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2745; you can also visit the Business Ambassador Service web page.

For all other information, please call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Online Food Premises Application tool available on My ServiceOttawa or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Visit a Client Service Centre 

Itinerant seller license

An itinerant seller licence is required for a business that sells goods:  from their person, door to door, on private property from a vehicle or at a special event from a stand.  It does not include food or refreshments or goods sold by wholesale.

Approximate cost

  • $232 to $585*      

*Fees vary according to the type and duration of itinerant licence

Approximate timeline

  • Usually issued on intake

Permit requirements

This summary is provided for reference only. Please refer to the Business Licensing By-law for the legal requirements.

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • the applicant is 18 years of age
  • the private property complies with zoning and the owner has authorized the activity
  • the vehicle, if applicable, has been inspected
  • the business has  $1 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre. 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Kennel license: boarding, in-home breeding and recreational categories

A kennel licence is required for any premises where more than a total of 5 dogs and cats, with a maximum of 3 dogs, over the age of 20 weeks are boarded, raised or trained for any period of time.

Approximate cost

  • Boarding: $171
  • In-home and Recreational : $82 annually

The license expires annually on April 30.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks*

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • Vary by category – please refer to Business Licensing By-law for details

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre. 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Limousine Service Licensing

A Limousine Service License is required for a business providing pre-arranged passenger ground transportation services utilizing limousines.

A new auxiliary service category has also been created to permit specialty services such as senior assistance services and responsible-choice services to help prevent drinking and driving

Approximate cost

  • The Licensing fee for a Limousine Service operator is $1,054. Operator licenses expire annually on August 31.
  • For each vehicle registered, the licensee must pay $633. Vehicle licences expire annually on August 31. This fee does not apply to auxiliary service vehicles.
  • For each temporary limousine registered, the licensee must pay $116. The expiry date will be indicated on the certificate.
  • The fee to transfer a license is $55.00.
  • The fee to change the name of the licensee is $55.00.
  • The fee to change the location of the licensee is $104.00.
  • The fee to register a replacement vehicle is $55.00.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks*

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Mobile refreshment cart, mobile refreshment vehicle, mobile canteen & refreshment stand license

A mobile refreshment cart licence is required for any hand-powered or pedal-powered vehicle from which refreshments may be cooked, carried or offered for sale to the general public. This includes ice cream and frozen milk products. A mobile refreshment vehicle licence is required for any motor vehicle or a trailer from which refreshments are cooked, carried or offered for sale to the general public. A mobile canteen licence is required for any motor vehicle from which food products and beverages that are prepared and cooked elsewhere are sold to individuals at their place of employment. A refreshment stand licence is required for any temporary structure from which refreshments are cooked, carried or offered for sale to the general public

Approximate cost

  • Cart: $252 to $647*
  • Vehicle: $252 to $3,423* Rural Vehicle $180 to $551*
  • Canteen: $252 to $783*
  • Stand: $232 to $846*

*Fees vary according to the type of license

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks*

*Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances

Permit requirements

This summary is provided for reference only. Please refer to the Business Licensing By-law for the legal requirements

  • Private Property
    • Written authorization from the property owner granting permission to use the property for the purpose applied for
  • City roads and sidewalks
    • Valid Designated Space Permit in accordance with Designated Space By-law (#2007-478)
  • Special Event(s)
    • Written confirmation from event organizer, application form and required documentation along with payment must be submitted to By-law and Regulatory Services prior to the start of the event.
  • Other
    • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
    • the applicant is 18 years of age and is the operator of business
    • the location or premises where the business will operate complies with zoning, building code, fire code and property standards requirements for the specific activities identified by the applicant
    • if the operator does not own the property or premises where the business will operate they have written authorization from the owner for its operation
    • full details of the vehicle, cart or stand to be used, including make, model, style and dimensions, equipment and the provision of photos
    • certificate of inspection by the Technical Standards and Safety Association (TSSA)as required
    • the vehicle, cart or stand complies with the fire code and has been approved by Ottawa Public Health
    • the business has $1 - $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance depending on category of license.

Who to contact

Business Information Officer - 613-580-2745 or email bio1stop@ottawa.ca

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Payday loan establishment license

A payday loan establishment license is required for the owner or operator of a payday loan establishment that provides payday loans under the provincial Payday Loans Act, 2008.

Approximate cost

  • Owner/Operator: $550 annually
  • Financial Information Poster each: $20

The license expires annually on September 30.

Approximate timeline for application review

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

License requirements

  • Application form
  • The applicant is the owner or operator of the payday loan establishment and is at least 18 years of age
  • The applicant provides the business address of premises together with the address of any other businesses related to the operation
  • The applicant provides proof to the Chief License Inspector that the applicant is the holder of a current and valid lender or loan broker license duly issued under the Payday Loans Act, 2008, including the applicable license number
  • The applicant provides the original documents, dated less than 60 days prior to the date of the application for a license, and annually thereafter, from the appropriate agency outlining acceptable results of investigations for a Criminal Records Check in relation to the applicant and the payday loan establishment manager (if different from the applicant)
  • The premises in which the business operates complies with the zoning, building, property standards and signage by-law requirements of the City of Ottawa
  • The applicant provides articles of incorporation (if incorporated) certified by government authority and annual return containing list of all shareholders of corporation
  • The applicant provides the names and addresses of each partner (if a partnership) and name under which they carry on business
  • The applicant provides proof of insurance minimum $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance, review insurance checklist for required information.
  • This information is provided for reference only, please refer to the Licensing By-law for the legal requirements

Regulations under the license

  • Each licensee must post the approved City license in a prominent location on the premises of the payday loan establishment
  • Each licensee and staff member must comply with the requirements of the Payday Loans Act, 2008
  • Each licensee shall inform the Chief License Inspector immediately, in writing, if the licensee’s license under the Payday Loans Act, 2008, is suspended, ceases to be valid, is revoked or expires
  • Each licensee shall operate only at the location authorized by the license issued under the Payday Loans Act, 2008
  • The licensee must post, in a prominent place in the establishment, the financial information poster provided by the Chief Licensing Inspector
  • The licenses are non-transferable

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Pet shop license

A pet shop license is required for a business that sells animals for use as pets.

Approximate cost

  • $174 annually

This license is non-transferable and expires annually on December 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age and is the owner of the business
  • The business opening date is within four to six weeks of application date
  • The premises where the business will operate complies with zoning, building code, fire code and property standards requirements
  • The applicant provides proof and results of inspection by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA)
    • proof includes a letter composed and signed by an agent of the OSPCA
  • The business has  $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance 
    • Proof must be a valid certificate not a quotation, binder or renewal slip.
    • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Private parking enforcement agency license

A private parking enforcement agency licence is required for any business that provides parking enforcement services.

Approximate cost

  • $390.00

Approximate timeline

  • Varies based on criteria

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • the applicant is 18 years of age and is the owner of the business
  • the applicant has provided the list of addresses of each property where its services are provided
  • the applicant provides the business address and contact information that is provided to the public should they wish to make inquiries about the agency
  • the business has  $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance 

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Public garage license

A public garage license is required for any of the following auto related businesses:

  • Car dealers
  • Car rentals
  • Car wash
  • Gas station
  • Auto repair shop
  • Auto body shop
  • Parking lots

Approximate cost

  • $265 annually

Active licenses may be transferred and expire annually on April 30.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age and is the owner of the business
  • That business opening date is within four to six weeks of application date
  • The premises where the business will operate complies with zoning, building code, fire code and property standards requirements
  • In the case of a body shop, that has a paint/spray booth, a Certificate of Approval pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act from the Ministry of Environment
  • The business has  $1 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Rickshaw owner and operator licenses

A rickshaw owner license is required for a business that provides rickshaw or pedicab services. A rickshaw operator licence is required for each person who operates a rickshaw or pedicab.

Approximate cost

  • Owner: $97 annually
  • Operator: $51 annually*

*A rickshaw operator license is non-transferable and expires annually on March 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Owner
    • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
    • The applicant is 18 years of age
    • The applicant is the owner of the business
    • The applicant has provided the name and address of the rickshaw operators engaged by the business
    • The business has  $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
    • Proof of ownership or lease
    • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
      • Name of company (number or name inc.)
      • Date of incorporation
      • Signature
    • The rickshaw to be used complies with the standards set out in the by-law
      • By-law inspection required
  • Operator
    • The applicant is 18 years of age and has a valid driver’s license
    • The applicant must provide the name and address of the rickshaw owner who will be the business affiliate or employer

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Rooming house license

A rooming house licence is required where a principal dwelling within the whole of a residential use building contains at least four (4) rooming units available to be occupied for compensation.

Approximate Cost

  • $253 to $614 annually*

*Fees vary based on the number of rooming units.

The license expires annually on April 30.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks**

**Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • the applicant is 18 years of age and is the owner of the business
  • the applicant provides a valid Police Record Check (Vulnerable Sector)
  • the building complies with zoning, building code, public health, fire code and property standards requirements
  • the applicant provides proof from the Chief Building Official confirming there are no outstanding orders related to building
  • the applicant provides proof of  $2 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature
  • the applicant has provided the name and telephone number of the agent or superintendent for the rooming house

Who to contact

Business Licensing Centre – 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Business Licensing webform

Salvage yard license

A salvage yard licence is required for any establishment where salvaged articles are stored. This includes derelict, discarded, abandoned or inoperable motor vehicles and parts. It also includes: junk yards, scrap yards and automobile wrecking yards.

Approximate cost

  • $229 annually

This license is non-transferable and expires annually on December 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant is the owner of the business
  • The business opening date is within four to six weeks of application date
  • The property and any buildings comply with zoning, building code and property standards requirements
  • The applicant provides proof from the Fire Chief that the property is suitable for a salvage yard and complies with the fire code
  • The applicant provides proof of  $1 million Commercial General Liability insurance. Review insurance checklist for required information.
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Second hand goods shop license

A second hand goods shop license is required for businesses offering used goods for sale.

Approximate cost

  • $229 annually

This license is non-transferable and expires annually on March 31.

Approximate timeline

  • 3 weeks 

Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

Permit requirements

  • Application form PDF opens in a new tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant is the owner of the business
  • Business opening date is within four to six weeks of application date
  • the premises comply with zoning, building code and property standards requirements
  • Proof of ownership or lease
  • Articles of incorporation (if incorporated)
    • Name of company (number or name inc.)
    • Date of incorporation
    • Signature

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Snow plow contractor license

A snow plow contractor license is required for any business that plows or removes snow from a private property with a snow plow. 

Approximate cost

  • $343 annually
  • $35 per vehicle

These licenses expire annually on October 31.

Approximate timeline

  • Usually issued on intake

Permit requirements

  • Application form opens in a new a tab or window
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant is the operator of business
  • The business has an address that is accessible for the general public to attend
  • The applicant has provided proof of good repair waiver form and full details of each snow plow to be used including:
    • Make
    • Model
    • Year
    • Motor Vehicle Plate Number (license plate)
    • For vehicles without plates the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • The applicant has filed proof of insurance for each snow plow to be used in the business of $1 million of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance. Review the  insurance checklist for required information.

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Snow plow - List of licensed contractors

As of January 23, 2020

2650541 Ontario Ltd.

360 Landscaping (Ottawa) Inc.

7905190 Canada Inc.

A & B Paving

A. Brian's

A. Quality Roofing

A. Wintergreen Landscaping

AA Landscaping Ltd.

Adam Kittle Enterprises Ltd.

Advanced Landscaping Inc.

Alan's Plowing

All Constructions Pro Inc.

All In One Landscaping

All Seasons Property Maintenance

Allan Mccoy Contracting Inc.

Al'seasons

Always Growing Inc.

Amalfi Stoneworks & Landscape Design Inc.

Amisco Maintenance

Andre Taillefer Ltd

Andy's Home Renovations

Annand X Inc.

Aquatech

Artistic Landscape Designs Ltd.

Auer General Renovation & Landscaping

AW Vaughn Maintenance

B & C Landscaping Limited

B & M Services & Sons

B C Landscaping

B.G. Gorham Construction Inc.

Bakker Trucking Corporation

Barrhaven Landscaping & Snow Removal Inc.

Bauer's Landscape & Garden Maintenance

BCC Corp

Bellissimo Dreamworks Inc.

Ben's Snowblowing

Bergeron Construction 2010 Inc.

Bernwood Contractors & Consultants Inc.

Bettencourt Multi-Maintenance

Big Easy's Lawn & Snow Service

Bilodeau Excavation

Blackforest Contractor Inc.

Blanchard Landscaping and Design

Blooming Gardens

Blue Teal Construction Ltd

Bluegrass Landscaping

BPM Inc.

Brad Quinn

Braden Construction

Brenning Construction (1986) Ltd.

Brite Nights Inc.

Bryan Lance Plowing

Burns Landscape Maintenance

C. M. & Company Inc.

Caltrio Company Ltd

Capital Properties Landscaping Inc.

Capital Property Maintenance

Capital S.L.C. Inc.

Care Free Property Maintenance

Carlsbad Paving

Cedar Springs Landscape Group Ltd

Centennial Construction Rockland Ltee/Ltd.

Centretown Road Service Inc.

CH Landscaping

Champagne Construction and Interlocking

Chris Smith Canada Court

City Paving and Interlock

City Scape

Classic Interlock Inc.

Claymark Corporation

Clean Cut Lawn & Lot Maintenance

Clintar Landscape Management

CN Plowing

Cowboy Construction

Cumberland Kanata Landscaping

Curtis Construction

Custom Property Solution

D & R Maintenance Solutions

D&G Landscaping Inc

Dale & Co. Snowblowing Services

Daniel Marier

Darcy Gaudreau

Dave Plowing

David Ananny

Dean Ryan Enterprises Inc.

DEI Gloriam Property Maintenance

Denali Landscaping and Snow Removal

Denis Ladouceur Excavation Ltd

DGC Maintenance

DGM Landscaping

Diamond Cut Lawncare Services Inc.

Diamond Excavating

Double C Farm

Douglas Dorion

Dreamscape Landscaping

DTW Property Management

Dufresne Piling Co

Dunright

Dura-Pave Snow One

E.C. Carruthers & Sons Ltd

Elie El-Salibi

Enterprise Nolet

Entretien de pelouse Lafontaine

Exact Interlock Ltd

Exact Post Ottawa Inc.

Excalibur Backhoe Rental

Exel Contracting Inc.

Exterior Solutions

Extreme Yard Solutions

F.A.S.R.S. Entretien J.G.P.

F.M. Interlock Inc.

Flo Lowe and Victor Fuentes

Floral Design Landscaping Inc.

Flynn Landscaping

Fortin Landscaping Inc.

Four Seasons Property Maintenance

Franick Road Service Inc.

Fraser Wilson Incorporated

Frontier Petroleum Solutions Inc.

G. Dupuis PAving and Interlock Inc.

G Saumur Maintenance Inc.

Gemma Property Services Inc.

George W. Drummond Ltd

Gerard Meloche Forming Inc.

Gilles St-Pierre

Glenn Wright Excavation

GMG General Contracting

Grassmasters

Greely Sand & Gravel Inc.

Green Acres Landscape Maintenance Inc.

Green Works Contracting Inc.

Greenstar Landscaping Inc.

Gro, Mo & Sno Inc.

Grounds Work Property Services Ltd.

Guy Courchesne Excavation Ltd.

Guy Robert Landscaping Design

H & B Contracting

H & E Contracting

H. Harper Enterprises

Habitat Enviroscaping & P.M.

Hand-E-Workz Inc.

Hanna's Property Maintenance

Hansen Lawn & Gardens

Henry Benoit Equipment Rentals

Hickory Dickory Decks

Impressions Group

J A T. Lawn Maint. & Snow Plowing Inc.

J. Philip Young Enterprises Ltd

J.D. Sparling Cartage Ltd.

J.R. Lawn Maintenance & Snow Removal Inc.

Jack Equipment Inc.

Jacques Bedard Excavation Limited

Jara Services

Jason Ierullo

JC Enterprises

Jean Marcel Filion & Son Inc.

Jean-Claude Levesque Cartage

Jerome Landscaping

Joel's Line Painting Inc

John Cundell

JSF Snow Blowing

Junkhaul

K. Leduc Property Services

Kanata Landscaping Inc

Kare-Mor Enterprises Co Ltd

Kenneth Kirk Harlow

Kerwin Property Maintenance Inc.

Kevin Brooks Landscaping Services

Kevin Lyons

King Concrete Ottawa Inc.

Kluke’s Roofing

Kodiak Snow Blowing Inc

Kodiak Snow Removal

Land'n Scape Inc.

Landstorm Contracting Ltd

Landtech Inc.

Latcon (2009) Ltd.

Laurent Leblanc Limited

Lawn & Order

Lawncare

Lawnscape

LB Cleaning

Leeside Snowblowing

Legendary Landscaping

Lenco Snow Plowing

Leo Landscaping

Les Entreprises Marc Dubé Inc.

Les Entreprises Prebbel Inc.

Life Long Landscaping

Lindsay Landscape Enterprises Inc.

Little Mean Machine

Local Boys Snow Blowing

Local Paving & Construction Inc.

M & M Yard Services Ltd.

M. Bray Construction

M. Davis Landscape & Design

M.A.G. Property Maintenance

Macplow

Mallette Landscaping Inc.

Mario Ouellette

Marsten Equipment Rentals

Mask Landscaping

Maurice Yelle Snow Removal Ltd.

Maxwell Inc.

Mccadden Landscaping

MCD Contracting

Meagher Snowblowing

Metro Snow and Ice Management

Michael Radbourne

Milner & Sons Excavating

Mister Nature Lawn Care

Moose & Sons Property Maintenance Limited

Morewood Sand & Gravel

Mountainview Turf Farm Ltd

Murphy's Snow Solutions

Murray Lawn and Landscape

N.S. Rivington Cartage Ltd

Natures Right Hand

Neighboursnow

Nicash Maintenance

No Limits Maintenance & Snowplowing

Noble Contractin

Noel's Snow Plowing

Odie's Landscape & Snow Removal

Osgoode Sand & Gravel Ltd

Ottawa D-Squared Construction

Ottawa Interlock

Ottawa Pavemaster

Ottawa Residential Consultants

P. Munro Group Inc.

Paquette Excavation & Renovation Inc.

Parkway Landscaping

Peloso Construction

Peloso Landscaping

Peter Smit & Sons Inc.

PFC Property Management

Picture Perfect Landscaping

Pierce Hill Farms

Premier Property Services Inc.

Pride Landscaping & Maintenance

Primrose Cartage & Excavating Ltd.

Pro Pavingstone Inc

Prodigy Property Maintenance Inc.

Proulx Lawn & Shrub Care

Pro-X Excavation Inc.

Quality Lawn

Queen's Property Services

R&S Snow Services Ltd

R.S. Property Management

R.W. Foster

Rabb Construction

Ray St-Louis Inc.

Raymond And Sam Snowplowing and Landscaping

Red’s Property Maintenance

Rene Dieudonne

Robert Alford

Robert Bisson

Robert D. Munro

Robert Marion Cartage

R Tremblay Contracting

Ruppert Snow Adventures Inc.

Ryan Kelly

Rystenbil Custom Services

Sam Dagg

Samarn Son

Sauve Carpentry/Driftwood

Schell Snow Plowing

Scottys Snow Clearing

Sigouin Roofing Enterprise

Sky High Enterprises Ltd

Smilies Home Services

Snow N' Grow

Snowbusters Ottawa

Snow-Care Works

Southpaw Property Maintenance Ltd.

Speedy Snow Blowing Service

Steve Barrie Equipment

Stone Edge Snowblowing

Stonewood Landscaping

Storm Chaser

Strathmar Trenching Ltd.

Sunshine Snow Service Inc.

T.Q. Landscapes Inc.

Tarstone Canada Ltd.

Taylor Contracting

Tazco Equipment Rentals Co Ltd.

The Better Look Service

The Gardener

The Labrash Group Inc

The Patch and Seal Team

The Silverstone Group

The Snow Terminator

The Squires Lawn and Garden

Thomas Cavanagh Construction

Thunderbolt Contracting Ltd.

Tim Baptiste

TLC Maintenance

Top Hat Black Coat

Totalscape

Trillium Lawn & Snow

Truelock Interlock Inc.

Twinbros Co

UGC Services

Ultimate Site Services

Utopia Landscaping

Vrtucar

Vivid Contracting

Walter Cousins

West Carleton Sand & Gravel Inc.

Westend Snoworks

Wild Ridge Landscapes Inc.

William Makinson

Williams Landscaping

Woodlawn Contracting Inc.

Worry Free Snow Blowing Inc

Yanic Dufresne Excavation

Yards Unlimited Landscaping Inc.

Yates Exterior Services Inc.

Your Home Investment

Your Way Snow and Lawn Inc.

Zagros Property Management

Zoryk's Property Maintenance

Temporary sign lessor license

A temporary sign lessor permit is required for any business leasing temporary signs.

Approximate cost

  • $465 annually

This license expires annually on December 31.

Approximate timeline

  • Usually issued on intake

Permit requirements

  • Application form
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant is the operator of the business
  • The business has $1 million Commercial General Liability insurance
    • Proof must be a valid certificate not a quotation, binder or renewal slip

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Tobacco vendor license

A tobacco vendor license is required for any business selling tobacco products.

Approximate cost

  • $928 annually

This license expires annually on November 30.

Approximate timeline

  • Usually issued on intake

Permit requirements

  • Application form
  • The applicant is 18 years of age
  • The applicant is the operator of the business

Who to contact

Please visit a Client Service Centre or call 613-580-2424 ext. 12735.

Where to apply

Visit a Client Service Centre or complete a Business Licensing webform request.

Additional Business Licensing Fees

All Business Licenses

Late fee $57

Ownership transfer fee $50

Location transfer fee $104

Partnership transfer fee $50

Duplicate license fee $20