Business Licences

Street view of small businesses

Service at a Glance

Reviewing the Business Licensing By-law 07-170

The purpose of reviewing and rewriting the Business Licensing By-law is to:

  • modernize the City’s licensing system with the intent to reduce the red-tape for our current and new community business

Modernizing the Business Licensing By-law is a key element in the City’s ongoing Open For Business initiative.

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
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.

Do I need a licence to haul water?

The City of Hamilton provides potable drinking water at water fill stations for bulk purchase for properties that do not receive City water in their tap.Our two water fill stations for bulk purchase of water are located at:

  • 70 Dartnall Road, Hamilton
  • 1422 Cormorant Road, Ancaster

If you want to buy water from our bulk water filling stations, you need a water hauler licence.