You are here

Business License

By-law 2014-150 requires all businesses operating in the City of Owen Sound to obtain a licence.

     Link to the Business Licence By-law 2014-150

Please make note of the following information and requirements for submitting a business licence application to the City of Owen Sound:

  1. Prior to submitting business licence applications, applicants must check with the Planning and Building Departments to ensure that the proposed business is a permitted use in accordance with the City’s Zoning By-law (2010-078, as amended).  Please contact staff in the Planning Department prior to submission of your application: 

Kim Weppler     519-376-4440 # 1231 Planning
Margaret Potter 519-376-4440 # 1232 Planning
Kevin Hicks       519-376-4440 # 1234 Building

  1. Applications are circulated to the following departments for their comments: Fire Department, Building Department, Bylaw Department, Police Services, and the Grey-Bruce Health Unit.  Applicants are encouraged to check with these departments prior to applying for a licence.
  2. Completed applications and fees may be hand delivered or mailed to:

Owen Sound City Hall
Clerks Department
808 2nd Ave East
Owen Sound, Ontario
N4K 2H4

  1. Please note that a floor plan must be submitted for all home based business licence applications.
  2. The City’s Building Division does not conduct on-site inspections where the business licence application does not indicate a change to the building occupancy or renovations that require a permit.
  3. When comments and approvals have been received from the departments listed above, a business licence will be mailed to the applicant. 
  4. The Grey Bruce Health Unit provides routine inspections for personal service settings at least once a year.  This applies to hair dressing and barber shops, tattoo and body piercing studios, electrolysis, acupuncture and various aesthetic services.  However, public health inspectors do not routinely inspect those businesses operating out of a private home unless the business is located adjacent to the private home with a separate entrance.  The personal service setting needs to be set up in a separate area to comply with applicable legislation.

Questions respecting the business licence application process may be directed to Lee-Anne Kazarian, Legislative Services Coordinator, Clerks Department at (519)376-4440 ext. 1268 or

For more information on how to start a business, please contact The Business Enterprise Centre - Owen Sound & Area at 519-371-3232, Fax: 519-371-2060,, or visit online at

Website by the City of Owen Sound | Website Policy