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 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:

Municipal Law Enforcement - Licensing and Permits Office
Hamilton City Centre
77 James Street North, Suite 250, Hamilton, Ontario
Email: licensing@hamilton.ca

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.

It is the intention of staff to include this new licensing concept as part of the Business Licensing By-law rewrite coming forward to the Planning Committee in 2017. Staff will consider recommending it as a permanent program.

Contact us

For more information, contact:
Licensing and Permits Office
Phone: 905-546-2782 and select option 3
Email: licensing@hamilton.ca