Looking to start or grow your business? The City of Cambridge (in partnership with the Region of Waterloo, Service Ontario, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) offers a one-stop online service called BizPaL to help local businesses get started or expand by providing access to information on business permits and license requirements from all three levels of government. BizPaL makes it faster and easier for you to get started. It's free to use and available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Most businesses in Cambridge must be licensed by the City of Cambridge to operate legally. The City requires business licences to help ensure the safety of our citizens and your customers. The City issues licences for stationary businesses and some mobile businesses, such as:
- Barber shops
- Beauty salons
- Motor vehicle service facilities
- Food shops
- Public halls
- Refreshment vehicles
There are 18 types of business licences available. View the Business Licence Categories Chart to determine which licence your business needs.
When you apply for a business licence, you must first meet all building, zoning and fire department regulations and have all required signatures from those departments or agencies before submitting your licence application. The Waterloo Regional Health Unit must also approve some specialized business, such as:
|How to apply|
To apply for a business licence you need the following:
View our Instructions on Completing a Business Licence Application Form for more information.
Business licensing by-laws help enforcement officers protect the community against infractions related to:
Visit our by-law page to view a list of our business-related by-laws.
Licensing fees offset the cost of the related enforcement and inspection programs. The cost of administering and enforcing licensing regulations should be covered by the regulated trades and not the public.
Fees vary by type of business licence.
You can renew your business licence at City Hall. The City issues business licence renewal letters in early November. Once you receive this letter, please send a cheque payable to the City of Cambridge addressed to:
50 Dickson Street, Second Floor
We also accept renewals in person at the City Clerk's office located on the second floor of City Hall. The City Clerk's office accepts payments made by cash, cheque, visa, mastercard or debit card.
|If you have any questions or need help, contact our Licensing Officer (519)740-4680, ext. 4581 before submitting your business licence application or starting your business. We'd be happy to help you with the application process.|
Below you will find information about some of the most common business-related permits and licences issued by the City of Cambridge.
|Street performers must apply for Busker Licence. View the Busker By-law to learn about busking rules and regulations in the city of Cambridge.|
|Food truck licence|
Your business will also need to meet the Region of Waterloo Public Health Special Events Food Vendor Requirements.
|Outdoor vendor licence|
|The Cambridge Outdoor Vendors By-law requires that vendors apply for an Outdoor Vendors Licence.|
|Sidewalk terrace permits|
Restaurants need to apply for a permit allowing them to do business on outdoor sidewalk terraces. View the following documents for more information about sidewalk terrace permits:
|Adult entertainment parlour licence|
Complete the Adult Entertainment Parlour Licence application to apply for a business licence in order to operate any adult entertainment business in Cambridge. The Adult Entertainment Establishments By-law regulates these licences.
There is also a special Adult Entertainment Parlour Licence Renewal Form for these types of licences.
|Charity BBQ licence|
To run a charity BBQ event (one-day fundraising event), you must apply for a Charity BBQ Licence.
Your charity BBQ will also need to meet the Region of Waterloo Public Health Special Events Food Vendor Requirements.
Businesses running an even like also need to review the City of Cambridge Alcohol Risk Management Policy.
|You may need to apply for different types of building permits, depending on your project and the work you need completed.|
To apply for a Sign Permit, you must include:
The turn around time to issue a sign permit or provide comment as to why it could not be issued is 10 working days.