Merchant services



1-INSET-Google_mapsGet your business on Google Maps: A step-by-step guide

To add your business information to Google Maps, Search, and other Google properties, you’ll need to create a Google My Business listing (or get

access to one, if it already exists). Manage how your business information appears across Google, including Search and Maps, using Google My Business – for free.

Here’s how to add or claim your business listing:

  1. Navigate to Google My Business. (New to Google My Business? Follow these steps to sign up for free)
  2. Search for your business using its name and address.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
  5. Click Submit.

(Source: Google.com)

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2-INSET-LicenceDo I need a municipal business 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.


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.

(Source: City of Ottawa)

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3-INSET-Patio_PermitPatio permits

The city’s patio program allows businesses such as bars, restaurants and cafés to put outdoor seating on a municipal right of way.

An initial review and approval in accordance with the provisions of the Right of Way Patio By-law is required, after which permits may be issued.

There are two patio seasons: a summer season from April 1 to Oct. 31, and a winter season from Nov. 1 to March 31. A permit is required for each season the patio is to be on the right of way.

The approval process includes a first-time review fee of $323.50, or $540 if public circulation is required.

Permits cost $28.30 per square metre, per month, in the summer (April to October) and $9.10 per square metre, per month, in the winter (November to March), plus a $59.20 permit  processing fee.

Here’s a link to the form for first-time applicants as well as the form for returning applicants.

Looking for more information? Contact the right-of-way permit office at 613-580-2424 x16000 or call 3-1-1.

(Source: City of Ottawa)

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4-INSET-BylawBy-law & Regulatory Services

Through its enforcement efforts, Ottawa’s By-law and Regulatory Services Branch keep roads and bus routes clear, ensure private properties are properly maintained and allow residents and visitors to enjoy smoke-free environments.

The most efficient way to register a request for service is to call 3-1-1.

By-law and Regulatory Services is responsible for ensuring compliance with citywide regulatory by-laws that address:

  • Animal care and control;
  • Business and lottery licensing;
  • Fences;
  • Graffiti;
  • Noise;
  • Property standards and maintenance;
  • Signs;
  • Smoke-free areas;
  • Taxis;
  • Traffic and parking;
  • Use and care of roads; and
  • Zoning

(Source: City of Ottawa)


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5-INSET-FoodEstablishmentCity resources for Ottawa food establishments

Are you planning to open a restaurant, bakery, café, butcher shop or another type of food establishment? If so, the City of Ottawa has resources to assist business owners who are starting to plan and operate a new food establishment business.

The Business Information Officer (BIO) is your single point of contact with the city to get all the information you need to apply for the required licences and permits for your new food establishment.

Specifically, the BIO can help you:

  • Apply for applicable licences and permits and follow up as required
  • Outline estimated time and costs
  • Create a personalized roadmap for your new food establishment
  • Connect you with the proper City departments throughout the process

Want to meet with the BIO?

Book an appointment to meet with the BIO in person by completing a short online questionnaire. The BIO can meet you at any one of ServiceOttawa Client Service Centres.

Want to learn more about the Business Ambassador Service? E-mail the BIO at bio1stop@ottawa.ca.

(Source: City of Ottawa)


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6-INSET-PolicingCommunity policing

Community Policing is the process by which police and other community members partner to improve community wellbeing, safety and security through joint problem identification, analysis, response and evaluation.

Community Police Officers strive to be:

  • A primary focal point for problem solving in their assigned neighbourhoods;
  • A primary location of the community crime prevention initiatives and partnerships; and,
  • A hub for information dissemination and referrals.

Vanier’s Community Police Centre is located at 252 McArthur Rd. and can be reached by calling 613-236-1222 x5823. The neighbourhood’s community police officer is Cst. Vianney Calixte.

(Source: Ottawa Police Service)


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7-INSET-WhatIsBiaWhat’s a BIA?

Ottawa’s Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) include some of our most vibrant commercial districts. BIAs come into existence when local business and property owners join together to improve, promote and undertake projects that will result in a stronger and more competitive commercial main street or business district. With the City’s support, they organize, finance and complete local improvements and promotional events from their common location within a defined commercial area. The range of activities that a BIA undertakes are:

  • Marketing: Understanding who area customers are, and creating effective promotions to retain and expand the customer base.
  • Business recruitment: Working with property owners to ensure that available space is occupied, and that an optimum business and service mix is achieved and maintained.
  • Streetscape improvement and other amenities: Providing for more customer-friendly lighting, signage, street furniture, planters, banners and sidewalk treatment.
  • Seasonal decorations: Creating a unique and pleasant environment for customers and staff of all businesses, retail and non-retail, through the use of decorations that are appropriate to the season and holiday.
  • Special events: Organizing and partnering in special events that highlight the unique attributes of the area and increase customer visits.

(Source: City of Ottawa)

What’s the role of the city?

In order for a BIA to be successful, it requires the commitment of the business community to undertake the organizational planning to establish the zone as well as to direct the programming of the BIA on an ongoing basis. The City of Ottawa recognizes the importance of the collaborative approach and its payback to the business community and is committed in its support and encouragement to business groups to examine the formation of a BIA for their area. The City will assist in the formal designation of a BIA and collect a special zone levy, which is returned to the BIA for its administration, annual budget and programming needs.