Permits & Inspections

Permits & Inspections

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.

Storefront of several different stores downtown

Service at a Glance


BizPaL is an online service that provides entrepreneurs with information on business permits and licences.Finding out which government requirements apply to a certain business type can be time consuming and frustrating. BizPaL helps you identify what you may need quickly and easily. 

When do I need a building permit?

You will need a building permit if you make any changes to the structure of your building such as:

  • demolishing
  • altering the interior
  • changing or expanding the use of a building
Who's responsible for scheduling a construction inspection?

Building inspectors inspect at key stages of construction that are prescribed in the Ontario Building Code. It is the permit holder's responsibility to arrange for inspections at the required inspection stages. 

What businesses have health requirements?

These businesses require health requirements:

  • Beauty and body art
  • Child care centres
  • Food premises and restaurants
  • Group homes, lodging homes and funeral homes
  • Public places and workplaces
  • Stores that sell tobacco
  • Facilities with cooling towers
  • Businesses that use a small drinking water supply
  • Public swimming pools and hot tubs
Do I need a permit to haul and dispose of sewage?

The City of Hamilton offers a Hauled Sewage Program to ensure that hauled sewage is handled and disposed of in an appropriate and responsible manner in order to protect public health, property and the environment.

As part of this program, there are two types of permits issued to businesses:

  • Annual Carrier Permit
  • Generator Permit