Business Licences

Temporary Business Licence

Business Licensing
We have reopened in-person counters for regular business hours (8:30 am to 4:30 pm):

  • Monday to Friday at City Hall, 71 Main St. W., 1st Floor
  • Monday and Wednesday at 330 Wentworth St. N., Hamilton

Business Licence applications or renewals can be submitted 7 days a week to [email protected]

Questions for staff? Contact us 5 days a week by email [email protected] or phone at 905 546-2782 option 3.

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 valid generally for 30 days depending on the circumstance.

The Temporary Business Licence is a unique tool that fits with the City’s philosophy of being “Open for Business”. New business models are using the pop-ups to:

  • test markets
  • increase their name recognition
  • promote business development with minimal risk

The concept was presented in an information report to the Open For Business Sub-Committee (PDF, 245 KB) on May 5, 2016.

Requirements for a temporary business licence

Typical licensing of a business goes through many inspections to ensure compliance with all the regulations and conditions in order to obtain a business licence. Inspections are completed for Health, Fire, Building, Traffic, Parking and Zoning before a licence is issued to a new business owner.

Several criteria must be met for a Temporary Business Licence and for occupancy to be granted. The minimum requirements are:

Licensing requirements

  • Zoned Inspection
  • Health Inspection

Building requirements

  • No alterations to the location
  • At least one washroom
  • Typically on the ground floor
  • A limited occupancy load (30 or less)
  • On-Site Building Inspection

How to apply

You will need to submit an application letter that includes:

  • the reasons for the application
  • assurances that you will meet the minimum requirements

You can submit by email or in person to:

Licensing and Bylaw Services
330 Wentworth St N, Hamilton, Ontario L8L 5W3
Email: [email protected]

The application will be reviewed by our staff and the Temporary Business Licence will be granted under the sole discretion of the Licensing Director, who will ensure that there is a valid reason to issue  the licence. A temporary licence will not be granted to business operators seeking to open a business up early without proper and full inspections or hoping to compromise public health and safety concerns.

Contact us

For more information, contact:
Licensing and Bylaw Services
Phone: 905-546-2782 and select option 3
Email: [email protected]