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How many permits does your business need?

September 7, 2010 - Tags: Regulations

Shutterstock 54405688Our permits and licences search can help you find what's required for your business.

Remember, it is your responsibility, as a business owner, to obtain all required business licences and permits from all levels of government. Although it can be easy to figure out that you need a liquor licence to operate a nightclub, it can be difficult to assess that you need a Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada's (SOCAN) licence to play music protected by copyright. Thankfully, the permits and licences search can help you find out which permits are required and how to obtain them.

There are three easy steps to see most of the permits that may apply to your situation:

  1. Choose your business type and location.
  2. Choose the municipality where you will operate your business.
  3. Read about the permits and licences that may apply to your business and find contact information.

Note: Though the search is meant to be thorough, not all provinces and municipalities have provided information and not all industry sectors are included in the search.

What happens if you neglect to obtain a permit or licence?

Depending on the violation, you may receive a warning or a fine. Some more serious outcomes may include having to settle in court or having to move or close your business.

What if you were not aware of the requirement?

Telling an official that you were not aware or were not advised of the need to obtain a certain permit will not suffice. You are responsible for seeking out and complying with all business regulations.

Try the permits and licences search today and see what other obligations and regulations may affect your business.

Comments

Hello there I’d like to know what kind of permit I need to import copper cathodes into Canada. (other than import licence.) thank you kindly

By Stefan Nagy on September 10, 2010

I am wanting to quote an industrial insulation project in Ontario.  Can you provide information on licensing or permits to do this single project.  Our 26 year old corportation is licensensed in Calif., Nev., Ut and Ariz.
Thank you for any help.  I cannot find anyone to help us with this.

By David on September 10, 2010

Hello. I was wondering about the requirements for opening a small bakery in Vancouver. 

Thanks for considering my question.  :)

By Darren on September 10, 2010

I want to start a restaurant business at Danforth/Victoria Park Avenue, I need loan. How can I proceed?

By rabeya on September 13, 2010

My friend wants to set up business for a licenced garage, he wants a Business Name and wants to Incorporated it, using a Corporation # there are 3 of them that want partnership in the corporations, I read about dong a search for 60 dollars to see if the Business Name is ok to use, do I have to do that if I am incorporating a name.
Please let me know before I go ahead and spend 60 dollars and find out I dont need to.

thanks

By Judy on September 15, 2010

I want to get work permits thanks

By khalid on September 15, 2010

Hello Khalid,

Canada Business aims to provide information on how to start, expand, or improve a business in Canada. If you are looking for specific information on how to obtain a work permit to be allowed to work in Canada, you may wish to consult the Government of Canada’s Working in Canada website.”

By Canada Business on September 15, 2010

Hi Darren,

To search industry requirements for a bakery in Vancouver, visit BC BizPal and filter your search for Vancouver and chose Retail Bakeries. As well

By Canada Business on September 15, 2010

Hello Judy,

There a number of matters to consider when naming and incorporating a business. The sections Naming your business and Registering your business of the Canada Business website helps walk you through the main elements of the process.

By Canada Business on September 15, 2010

Hello Stefan,

There are a number of resources that may be able to help you get the information you are looking for. The Canadian Border Services Agency’s Step-by-Step Guide to Importing offers a list of different products and who to contact for more information.

You can also visit the importing section on our site.

By Canada Business on September 17, 2010

Hi David,

You can visit the ServiceOntario website to search for Ontario licences and permits using the online search tool, BizPaL. You can also speak with the municipal government where you plan to start the business for information on city licences and permits that may be required. Find a complete list of Municipal governments in Ontario at the [url=“http://www.amo.on.ca/am/Template.cfm?Secti>Association of Municipalities of Ontario</a> website.

You may also need to contact <a href=“http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/contact/menu-eng.html”]Canada Border Services Agency [/url] if you will be bringing goods into Canada, as well as Ontario Immigration if you plan on employing Non-Canadian workers. You can get additional information on Canadian immigration requirements by contacting the nearest Canadian embassy or consular office

To find out more about the permits and licenses that could apply to your business, contact Canada Business Ontario.

By Canada Business on September 23, 2010

Hi Margaret,

You can visit the ServiceOntario website to search for Ontario licenses and permits using the online search tool, BizPaL. You can also contact the City of Toronto directly for information on municipal licences or permits and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for any additional provincial requirements.

By Canada Business on September 23, 2010

hi!
i wish to start a small take out restaurant in Etobicoke .ON. am i issued the license for this only if i have a qualified food and nutrition person ? and is the license issued only in his name ? if ” yes” what is the minimum / basic qualification required to make myself eligible to get this license. i shall appreciate your response to this.
thanks.

By sanjay on September 23, 2010

Hi Sanjay,

The issuing office for the licence should be able to tell you what requirements you need to meet in order to get the licence. If the licence you’re referring to is a municipal licence, the City of Toronto can be contacted for more information on licensing for a business in Etobicoke.

You may also be interested in the guide How To Start a Restaurant or Catering Business in Ontario.

Visit the ServiceOntario website to search for additional information on Ontario licences and permits using the online search tool, BizPaL. To find out more about the permits and licenses that could apply to your business, contact Canada Business Ontario.

By Canada Business on October 20, 2010

My son lives in Vancouver and is interested in starting a home business repairing computers…what type of licencing is required?

By Debbie on October 21, 2010

Hi

I have a open work permit in Canada, Can I do “home staging” business on that work permit or do I need to get some other visa? Please help, urgent help will be highly appreciated.

Thanks and regards
Mshan

By Mshan on November 4, 2010

Hello Mshan,

To learn more about the stipulations of work permits for your particular situation, contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Best of luck with your business.

By Canada Business on November 5, 2010

Hi there,

I am looking into opening a mobile t-shirt retail store in Niagara Falls. Any information would be greatly appreciated!

By Lisa on November 24, 2010

Hi!

I am interested in starting a catering business from my home. I am in need of information pertaining to the laws and regulations for such a task. Please let me know where I can find the information that I need to do this legitimately.

Thanks so much,
Sydney

By Sydney on December 7, 2010

Hi Sydney,

Being aware of regulations and complying with them is indeed an important part of running a business. You can use our search tool to find out the permits and licences required for your specific business situation

By Canada Business on December 9, 2010

Hello, I would like to know the permits and licenses needed to open a health and wellness store. It offers the use of fitness machines, they can also be rented or bought. Also, it will offer all organic and vegan foods and products as well as vitamins, cleansing detoxs and even clothes made from all organic and vegan material. Thank you.

By Emily on March 2, 2011

Hello Emily,

The permits and licences search can help you find and obtain the permits and licenses that may be required to open and operate your business.

By Canada Business on March 2, 2011

What licences are needed for a martial arts studio?

By draco on June 7, 2011

Hello Draco,

The permits and licences search can help you find and obtain the permits and licenses needed for opening and operating a martial arts studio.

By Canada Business on June 13, 2011

Hi, I am a hobbyist photographer, and all of a sudden I have a few people interested in my services (weddings, families, etc).  Do I need to register a home-based business or get a business name?

By Brant on July 25, 2011

Hello Brant,

As a freelance photographer, you may want to see how much time you wish to invest in your hobby before registering it as a business. If you operate under your own name, as a self-employed freelancer, you are not required to get a business name. However, if you choose to take on a business name, you will need to register your home-based business. Have a look at our section on Registering your business to see what steps to take, especially in your province or territory.
 
Keep in mind that most businesses in Canada need to register with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to get a Business Number. Registration is mandatory if your business requires a GST/HST, Payroll, Corporate income tax or Import/Export account, but you may find your photography sideline is not yet at this stage. To determine whether you need a GST/HST account, a good place to start is by taking the CRA’s handy questionnaire. This becomes a factor as your photography revenues increase.
 
If you do decide that you are interested in starting a sole proprietorship, our section on Starting a business can be very useful. And don’t forget that the Business Information Officers at the Canada Business service centre in your province or territory can provide you with many useful resources.

Good luck with your photography.

By Canada Business on July 28, 2011

Hi !
I am a Certified Baker from back country and I am planning to start a small part time business from my home kitchen which will include Birthday and wedding Cakes, Pastries and some special cookies only on customer`s orders. There is no daily retailing involved.
Can you assist me what type of permit and license is required for that?

Thanks.

By Romy on August 16, 2011

Hello Romy,

You can use our search tool to find the permits and licences required for your situation. Red Seal certification for Bakers is also available in most Canadian provinces and territories.

By Canada Business on August 17, 2011

Hi there i’m looking to start my own corporate shopping business and was wondering besides a retail licence what else i need and where i can go fro this.  I’m looking to start up in alberta

By Chase on September 30, 2011

Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry. Business Licensing for most businesses is regulated by municipalities. Each municipality can designate what requirements different types of businesses face within their jurisdiction. A great starting tool is BizPaL, which is a database of municipal and provincial permit and licensing requirements.

You can access our Guide For New Alberta Businesses — Step 3 discusses business licensing in-depth and the guide also mentions other necessary start up steps. You will need to contact the municipal office of the city or cities in which you plan to operate to discern what license requirements your business faces. The guide also discusses, and gives contact information for, Service Alberta. Depending on how you plan to operate your retail business, there may also be provincial licensing requirements.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the service centre nearest you.

Good luck with your business!

By Canada Business on October 4, 2011

Hi there:
I want to start home-based Computer Repair business, also involving some online services. What type of permits and licences / registrations do I need, especially in terms of online activity. Asif.. Toronto. Ontario.

By Asif on October 11, 2011

Hi Asif,

You can visit the ServiceOntario website and use the online search tool BizPaL to search for Ontario licenses and permits for your home-based computer repair . You can also contact the City of Toronto directly for information on municipal licences, zoning requirements or permits that will be required to operate a business from your home in Toronto.

Depending on how you want to structure your business, additional regulations or registrations may apply. Our section on Starting a business  and the Business Start-Up Info-Guide may be useful to you.

To find out more about the registrations, permits and licences that could apply to your business, contact Canada Business Ontario.

By Canada Business on October 12, 2011

Hello.
I want to open baker in vancouver BC.pleaser suggest me I am waiting.

By ARSV on October 31, 2011

Hello,

You may wish to visit Bizpal.ca to find out about the industry regulations and permits relevant to the municipality where you wish your business to be located.  You can contact the city hall in your municipality to find out about any zoning restrictions for the location.

Comprehensive food safety training programs are available through FoodSafe BC. Courses are available face-to-face, online, and by correspondence, and are recognized throughout BC as meeting the requirements for food safety training for food service industry workers.  Further safety guidelines are available through the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Our Restaurant Start-Up Checklist and Permits and licences page may also be helpful.

Good luck with your bakery!

By Canada Business on November 2, 2011

Going to start a computer shop in Pharr, Texas. I need to know what I need, what permits or licences.

By Edgar on November 15, 2011

Hello Edgar,

The U.S. Small Business Administration can help you find the required permits and licenses to start a computer store in Pharr

By Canada Business on November 16, 2011

Hi, can you help me out? What permit and license do I need to be able to have an online clothing store that are imported from several countries like China, Vietnam, USA, etc.?  If you can tell me what I require that would be great as I would like to start an online clothing business and advertise, but want to know the requirements if there is any goods taxes involved…etc

By May on November 26, 2011

Hello May,
Our permits and licences search can help you find and obtain the permits and licenses that may be required to open and operate your business.

One thing to keep in mind is that before you start importing, you must register your business for an import/export account. Find out more about duties and the import process in our Importing section.

If you are in the business of importing or selling any textile fibre product, such as clothing, you can also register for a CA Identification Number through the Competition Bureau.

For more information on starting a business in Canada, contact the Canada Business service centre in your province or territory, or call toll free 1-888-576-4444 (TTY 1-800-457-8466).

Good luck with your online clothing store.

By Canada Business on November 28, 2011

Hello

What would the process and permits that would be needed to open a snack food manufacturing company?

By katy on December 1, 2011

Hello Katy,

Our Starting a Business section might be helpful in terms of developing a business plan and making other decisions that could help you get your business underway.

We also have a permits and licences search tool to help you find and obtain the permits and licenses that may be required to open and operate your snack food manufacturing company.

You may find useful research on the Canadian Snack Food Industry in our section on Agriculture and Agri-Food Research and Statistics.

As well, Industry Canada offers a Manufacturing Sector Gateway that provides information on programs and resources that are available to Canadian manufacturers.

For more information on starting a business in Canada, contact the Canada Business service centre in your province or territory, or call toll free 1-888-576-4444 (TTY 1-800-457-8466).

Good luck with your snack food business.

By Canada Business on December 2, 2011

Hello,

I’m a musician and I’d like to have a business for that purpose. I’m not sure to what category it belongs? it’s soo confusing !

By Pianist on January 23, 2012

Hello,

You will find the permits you need by going to the BizPaL search and selecting “Performing arts, spectator sports and related industries”, then selecting the activities that apply to you.

Good luck with your business!

By Canada Business on January 31, 2012

My son has a pool installation, landscaping company. He is now also doing eves roughing and wants to also do boat detailing. Can he just add these to the services he provides under his already licensed company or does he have to open another company for the services?  It is a sole pro. company , just wanted to add some things that he can provide to his clients.

By Jack on February 7, 2012

Hello Jack,

You can contact the organization where the sole proprietorship was registered to find out if any new lines of business must be added to the registration.

To find out if new permits and licences are required for operating these new services, you can search our Permits and licences section. Depending on your location

By Canada Business on February 9, 2012

Hi, I am 14 and live in Ontario. I make/decorate cakes and cupcakes for my friends as a hobby. I have been asked if I take orders and I am not sure what I need as far as licences and such. It would be out of my home kitchen and I would be the only employee. I tried the permit search, but I don’t think I qualify for any of them (am I a commercial bakery??). What else should I know of? Do I need to get a GST/HST number/account? Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

By Ryley on February 11, 2012

Hi Ryley,

In Ontario, you must be 18 years old to register a business or legally sign contracts under your name. Please speak to a parent or guardian about your business idea.

In general, a business that bakes and sells food will often be listed a commercial bakery. You can contact your municipal government to find out if a cake and cupcake businesses is listed as a commercial bakery. They can also tell you if city permits or licenses are needed to start a cake and cupcake business. You can find a complete list of municipal governments in Ontario on the [url=“http://www.amo.on.ca/am/Template.cfm?Secti>Association of Municipalities of Ontario</a> website.

The HST registration applies to most businesses in Ontario, and the <a href=“http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/cntct/phn-eng.html”]Canada Revenue Agency[/url] can confirm when an HST account is required to start a business.

You can also learn about Regulations for the food industry from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) website. The guide on How to Start a Restaurant or Catering Business in Ontario also contains information that may apply to a cake and cupcake business.

By Canada Business on February 14, 2012

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