Application Requirements for Business, Trades and Professions

Frequently Asked Questions about Business & Trades Licences and Permits

Q: Where can I get a criminal background check?

A:  Information is available on the Criminal Reference Checks page. 


Q: Where can I register my corporation/operating name of my business/file changes of the officers in my corporation?

A:  This is done at a Service Ontario location; visit their site to find a location near you.


Q: Where can I renew my Certificate of Qualification (C of Q)?

A:      The Ontario College of Trades

855 Bay Street, Suite 600

Telephone: 647-847-3000




Q: Where can I get my liquor licence?

A:  You can apply online at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.


Q: Where can I get information about permanent signs on private property?

A: For permanent signs, contact the Toronto Building Sign Bylaw Unit page or contact them. Municipal Licensing and Standards accepts applications for Temporary Signs (A-frame, development signs for real estate and mobile signs) on public or private property, visit the Municipal Licensing & Standards Temporary Signs page.


Q: Who can I contact if I left something in a taxi?

There is a phone number on the roof sign of a cab. If your driver is affiliated with a brokerage, it is the brokerage phone number and if they are not, it is their direct phone number. In either case, please call that number first.

If you don't have the above information, contact the Licensing Enforcement unit at email or telephone 416-392-3082.  You will need to provide them with the taxi plate number on the side of the cab or on the small plate attached to the licence plate at the back of the cab.

Q. Where can I find out about vending in Toronto parks?

New applications for vending locations in City's parks are NOT being accepted. Until further notice there is a moratorium (freeze) on issuing new permits for vending in parks.

  • The moratorium on issuing new Food Vending Permits will be in place until there is authority from City Council.
  • Only vendors authorized by valid existing permits may vend inside a park.
  • There is no waiting list for application for vending locations in parks.


For more information, please contact

Q: Who can I contact about holding a special event?

A:       If it is in a park, go to the Parks Permits page for more information. If it is outside of park and in another area of the City, go to the Special Events page for more information or email :  . 


Q:  Where can I learn about starting a daycare or seniors home?

A:  For information about daycares, contact the Ministry of Education

For information about starting a seniors home, contact Service Ontario at 1-866-532-3161.


Q: Can the City recommend a list of building renovators, plumbers or heat installers?

A: The City cannot recommend a any contractors, however can  provide a list of licensed Building Renovators, Master Plumbers, Master Heating Installers or any other trades people that the public can hire.  To access this list, go to the Online Business Licence Look Up.

Q: Where can I obtain a licence to hold charitable gaming lottery licence, such as for Bingo, Raffles or Black Jack?

A: Contact the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Q: Where can I ask zoning related questions?

A: Contact Toronto Building


Q: Do I need a licence for a wholesale import and export business?

A. ML&S licences retail businesses that sell directly to the public, not wholesale businesses.  Contact Revenue Canada for more information about the requirements for import/export businesses.  


Q: Do I need a licence to open a medical clinic, dental office, accounting office, law office or record label company?

A: These businesses are licensed provincially. Visit Service Ontario for more information.


Q: Does the City license pet grooming, pet food/clothing sales, pet boarding or dog walkers? 

A: The City licenses commercial dog walkers.  Pet grooming, food and boarding require provincial business licences, which you can learn more about through Service Ontario for more information.


Q: Where can I find out about the back flow prevention program or the basement flooding protection program?

A:  For the Backflow Prevention Program, contact 311 to report:

  • emergency or backflow incidents
  • non-compliance of backflow protection, or
  • failure of backflow prevention devices 

For questions or to learn more, visit the Backflow Water Prevention page, leave a voice message at 416-394-8888 or email

For the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program (i.e., backwater valve on the sanitary/storm sewer connection, sump pump, contact 311 or email


Q: Where can I get more information about my sign or encroachment bill?

A:  Please contact us by email at or 416-392-6700.