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Municipal Business Licences

Due to COVID19, new business licence applications for are being accepted digitally by emailing Applications will be reviewed for zoning compliance, however, only locations that are deemed essential by the Province will have inspections conducted. New applications for food premises will have their application fee deferred three months from the date of the issuance of the licence.

Thank you for your patience during this time.




The main goal of any municipal business licence is to protect the health and safety of the public who use the service. It also helps ensure consistency for business owners and customers. The City of London’s Business Licensing and other By-laws provide the rules and regulations for each licensed business.

Municipal Licensing Information:

A downloadable Business Licensing Guide  has been created to answer general questions about municipal business licencing, including which businesses need a licence.

Information for how to obtain or renew a business licence is available below.  You can also speak with someone in the Business Hub on the 7th floor of City Hall during regular business hours to get information and application materials. 

Starting a Business:

Information about starting a business in London, Ontario, if available from the Service London Business website.  There you will be given helpful tips for Planning, Launching, or Growing a Business in London, and get links to some of local partner organizations who can help.

Master Business Licence (Provincial):

If you are looking for information about registering your business in Ontario and getting your "Master Business Licence", visit the Service Ontario website.  A Master Business Licence, or Articles of Incorporation, are required before you apply for your Municipal Business Licence.

See Below for Application Information

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  • What should I do before I apply for my business licence?

    Business Hub

    Before signing a lease or purchasing a property, contact a Zoning Business Coordinator in the Business Hub at City Hall.

    Business Hub Staff can help you determine if your business is a permitted use, as per the City of London Zoning By-law Z.-1, and provide you with information about other zoning and licensing concerns, based on your proposed address.

    It is also strongly recommended you contact the following departments and organizations to get more information about:

    Building Department 

    A commercial plans examiner can help you determine if you require a building permit or a change of use permit, based on your proposed address and the changes you plan to make.

    • 300 Dufferin Avenue, City Hall, 7th floor
    • 519-661-4555
    • webpage about building permits and change of use permits

    City of London Fire Department

    Fire Prevention Staff will help you understand your fire prevention requirements and let you know about fire inspections.

    Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU)

    For any food-related business inquiries, MLHU staff will help you plan and prepare you for your health inspection.

    Waste Water

    For information about best practices for Business, business licence inspections, disposing of fats, oils, greases, etc.


  • How do I apply for or renew a Municipal Business Licence?

    New Licence Application - Review the following and submit the necessary information for your specific application.

    1. A completed licence application form:
    2. Read the Application Requirements and Inspections table to understand the documents you require in order to apply for your specific licence:
    3. Our Business Licensing Booklet provides general licensing information.
    4. Business Licence Regulations provide additional operational rules and requirements, so make sure you review those as well.


    • Different business licences have different application requirements.  If you are unsure of any of the requirements, contact Business Hub staff to discuss, or refer to the various By-laws and Regulations.
    • A Business Licence Application is only valid for 90 days. Do not make your new application more than 90 days prior to the scheduled opening of your business.
    • All business licenses expire on January 31 the year after issuance, regardless of when they were granted and Business licence fees are not prorated.  That means, in the worst case scenario, if you apply for your business licence in October you will have to renew (pay again) the following January - only 3 months after your initial payment.
    • Fillable .pdf forms work best with Microsoft Internet Explorer

    Licence Renewal - to renew your municipal business licence:

    • Mail in your renewal notice with a cheque payable to the City of London, or;
    • Mail in your renewal notice with your credit card details, or;
    • Phone the licensing office during regular business hours with your credit card details; or
    • Emai with your address, existing licence number, renewal notice, and credit card details.


    • You are responsible to renew your business licence annually, prior to the January 1st expiration, whether you receive a renewal notice or not.
    • We securely handle your credit card details.
  • What are Operational Regulations?

    The Licence Manager has authority to make operational regulations outside of the By-law.  These regulations further clarify:

    • Additional material that must accompany an application, and/or;
    • Operational or other important regulations specific to the license category.

    For those license categories that have additional regulations, they are found here.


  • How do I know if a Business has a Municipal Licence?

    Use the City's Property Inquiry System to search for active Business Licence information and files: They will be labelled "BL".  This can be used by the owner of a business, a potential purchaser, or the general public  to see if a business has a municipal business licence.

  • What By-laws govern Business Licensing?

    The Business Licensing By-law (L.131-16) sets out the rules that govern municipal business licensing in the City of London.

    Some business licence categories also have seperate By-laws, such as;

    • Fireworks (PW-11)
    • Informal Residential Care Facilities (CP-21)
    • Lottery Licensing (L-1)
    • Pawnbrokers (L-7)
    • Residential Rental Units (CP-19)
    • Vehicle for Hire (L.130-17)

    All City of London By-laws, including those listed above, are available online.


  • Why did Enforcement and/or Business Services Staff come to my Business?

    By-law enforcement and/or Business Services Staff may visit locations throughout London to make business owners aware that their business may require a business licence and ensure that licensed businesses are displaying their licence in an easy to see place. Staff will educate business owners on the regulations and provide documents and assistance to make the licensing process easier, where possible.

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