Business Licences

NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances arising with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), some business licence inspections are currently suspended until further notice. This may create a delay in receiving a business licence. Please be aware, that a new business that requires a municipal business license is prohibited from opening until a business licence has been issued from the municipality. Thank you in advance for your patience.

New Business Licences and Business Licence Renewals will still be processed if accompanied with a cheque via the James Street drop box at City Hall, and issued once the facility reopens. 


A Business Licence is required for certain types of businesses in the City of St. Catharines. All Business Licences are renewable on an annual basis.

The related fees are provided. By-law No. 2005-318 regulates the issuing of business licences.


Business Licences are subject to a number of conditions such as fire inspection, health inspection, and zoning approval. Additional information may be obtained through the Office of the City Clerk regarding application procedures.

Most business are covered by our general business licence. Types of business not covered by the general business licence are listed individually below:

 General Business Information  

The Government of Canada Business Network provides business services for entrepreneurs, including Ontario Retail Tax information.

Do I have to charge GST / HST?

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is a federal agency established to administer tax, customs and trade services for the Government of Canada. Inquiries may be made in person at 32 Church St., Main Floor, P.O. Box 3038, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 3B9. Business hours are Monday through Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • For GST inquiries, call 1.800.959.1953.
  • For business inquiries, call 1.800.959.5525.
  • For general inquiries, call 1.800.959.8281.
  • For services requiring payment, such as registering or renewing a business name, you may pay online at ServiceOntario.
  • For information on zoning or other regulations that may affect new businesses, visit the Invest In section of this site.


Businesses that require licencing in the City of St. Catharines.

Type of Business

 Annual Licence Fee

Amusement Arcade

$0.50 per square feet gross usable floor space



Bill Poster


Hawkers & Peddlers (Resident)

$215.00 per location

Use of municipal sidewalk or road allowance - $16.10 per square foot. Minimum fee $537.50

Hawkers & Peddlers (Non-resident)

$661.15 per location

Use of municipal sidewalk or road allowance - $16.10 per square foot. Minimum fee $537.50

Master Plumbers & Plumbing Contractors

$82.75 (Renewal $59.15)

Public Hall


Public Hall (Non-profit or Charitable)


Refreshment Stand, Booth, Place, Restaurant


Second level Lodging House



$188.10 (per screen)

Other Fees

  • Business Licence Refund Fee - $32.25
  • Business Licence Renewal Late Fee - $52.75 (Except Master Plumber & Auctioneers)


Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines