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.
This license is transferrable and expire annually on March 31st.
Timelines are approximate and may be longer due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Application form
- 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
- 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
Are you looking to build a patio for your food establishment?
Click here to learn more about design details.
Click here for more information about obtaining a permit.
Who to contact
The Business Information Officer by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-580-2745; you can also visit the Business Ambassador Service web page.
For all other information, please visit a Client Service Centre or call 3-1-1.
Where to apply
Visit a Client Service Centre
Online Food Premises Application tool available on My ServiceOttawa.