Business Licences

Business Licences

Business Licensing is currently closed
In an effort to redirect staffing resources to aid with vaccination efforts in the face of surging COVID-19 infections, business licensing has been closed. Detailed information about services, facilities and programs that are currently modified or cancelled can be found at

As the COVID-19 situation in Hamilton continues to evolve, these Frequently Asked Questions for Business Licensing will be regularly updated as circumstances change to provide residents and business owners with current information.

Store front of different building downtown

Service at a Glance

Do I need to licence my business?

Many businesses in Hamilton must be licensed to operate legally for:

  • public health and safety
  • consumer protection
  • nuisance prevention

A business licence protects the health and safety of the public who use their service or products and also helps ensure consistency for business owners and customers. 

Apply for a Temporary Business Licence

The City of Hamilton is announcing a new licensing option for businesses wishing to test the market ‎on a temporary basis before becoming fully licensed. The Temporary Business License is only valid for a 30 day trial period.

The Temporary Business Licence is a unique tool that allows new business models to use the 30 day licence to:

  • test markets
  • increase their name recognition
  • promote business development with minimal risk
Do I need a Trade Licence?

If you own or operate one of these companies or work in any of these fields as a tradesperson, the City requires you to hold a trade licence:

  • Plumbing
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, also known as HVAC
  • Drain laying
  • Building repair
  • Sprinkler and fire protection
New Accessible Taxicab Plate

On February 28, 2018, City Council approved the issuance of 18 Accessible Taxi Plates (ATP), and the creation of an Accessible Priority List. The plates are to be offered to individuals on the Taxicab Priority List first. The remaining plates will be added to the Accessible Priority List for qualified taxicab drivers.

What types of lotteries does the City licence?

The City licences lotteries, as per the Criminal Code of Canada including:

  • Bazaars
  • Bingos
  • Break open tickets
  • Raffles

They can only be held by charitable, religious or non-profit organizations.

Park Permits for Food Service Vehicles

The City of Hamilton is making it easier for food trucks to operate in parks. Park Permit holders will be able to operate food service vehicles more easily in select parks, providing they adhere to the specific park regulations.