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Type Of Municipal Business Licences

Many but not all types of businesses require a municipal licence. The fees can vary from a few dollars to a thousand or more, but in most cases the fees are nominal.

In addition, business and industry must conform to zoning and bylaw regulations. Most municipalities have a planning board to designate areas within the municipality for residential, commercial, light industry, heavy industry, noxious industry, green belt or parkland. Construction, reconstruction, alterations or additions to a building require approval of the designs by the building department.

For details of fees and application requirements contact the building department or bylaw officer in the municipality in which the business is located.

Most municipalities require a building permit before alterations or new construction take place. It is extremely important, therefore, that the business check zoning regulations before signing a lease, and obtain the necessary building permit before making alterations or starting new construction.

For regular business licences, check with your municipal licensing board, commission or bylaw officer.

The Municipal Licensing & Standards division of Urban Development Services issues licences and monitors vehicles, businesses and trades to ensure they follow all applicable municipal by-laws.

Do you need a licence?
If you plan to open a business in the Toronto area, you may require a business licence. Toronto Licensing and Standards issues licences to the following types of business and trades:
Taxi industry and vehicular businesses
  • taxicab owners/drivers
  • taxicab brokers limousine owners/drivers
  • catering truck owners/drivers
  • driving school owners/instructors
  • tow truck owners/drivers
  • car/truck rental/operators
  • horse drawn carriages
  • hot dog carts
  • rickshaws/pedicab
For further information about taxi and other vehicular business licensing contact:
Taxi Industry Unit
Scarborough Civic Centre
150 Borough Drive
Second Floor
Toronto, ON M1P 4N7
Information line:
(416) 395-7100
Application status inquiries:
(416) 392-7522
Fax number:
(416) 394-8002
Stationary businesses
  • adult entertainment parlours and dancers
  • places of amusement
  • billiard halls
  • butcher shops
  • convenience and variety stores
  • movie theaters and public halls
  • public bath houses
  • bowling alleys
  • coin-operated laundries
  • parking lots
  • salvage yards
  • grocery, fruit or fish markets
  • bake shops
  • barber and hairdressing shop
  • body rub parlours and attendants
  • carnivals and circuses
  • drug stores
  • massage parlours
  • pet shops
  • public garages and gas stations
  • car wash
  • automobile body repairs
  • bill distributors
  • second hand shops
  • sign painters
  • pawnbrokers and old gold dealers.
  • Holistic centres and practitioners
  • wine and liquor stores
  • accident report centre
Any premise where food is stored, prepared, or sold for human consumption, on or off the premises, must be licenced
  • delicatessens
  • restaurants
  • coffee shops
  • burger shops
  • donut shops
  • fish and chips stores
  • pizza parlours
Trades and other professions
  • plumbing/heating/electrical
  • contractors
  • auctioneers
  • building renovators
  • drain contractors
  • insulation installers
  • scrap collectors
  • hawkers and pedlars
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