Do I need a municipal business licence?

(Source: City of Ottawa)

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.


Businesses for which a licence can be obtained 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

Businesses for which a licence is available at the city’s 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
  • Private parking enforcement agency
  • Refreshment cart and vehicle
  • Rooming house
  • Taxi                     
Applying 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.

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.