Business Licence

Municipal Business Licences protect the health and safety of the public. They also help ensure consistency for business owners and customers. The Municipality of Chatham-Kent's Consolidated Business Licensing By-law, along with other by-laws, provides detailed information on the rules and regulations for each licensed Chatham-Kent business. Copies of the by-laws can be found on our By-laws page.

What should I do first?

Business Licensing Guide has been created to answer general questions, including which businesses need a licence, required documentation for application and the current fee for each licence type (outlined in the Schedule A Fees Guide ). This guide also highlights information on how to obtain or renew a licence. For questions or more information, call the Licensing Department at 519-360-1998 or email during regular business hours.

The Home-Based Business Guide will provide you with what to consider before opening a home occupation or home industry.

Before you sign a lease or apply for a business licence – check the zoning! Call 519-360-1998 to speak to the Building Development Services department or email to receive information about what uses are permitted in which zones.

What do I need?

Every application for a Municipal Business Licence requires the following information:

Some business licence applications may require additional documentation to be submitted at the time of the application. A police records check, floor plans/site plans, insurance or identification documents are some examples of items that may be requested. To confirm what your business licence application requires please refer to the Business Licensing Guide or, contact the Licensing Department at 519-360-1998 or email

What happens after I apply?

Municipal Business Licences require approval from municipal departments such as Building, Zoning, Fire, Health and Police. After you apply, the Licensing Department will reach out to the departments required for their approval or arrange an inspection of the business premises, if required.

How long is a Business Licence valid?

Most Municipal Business Licences are valid for one year from the date of issue. Mobile Food Premises are an exception and renew every year in May. Business Licence fees are not prorated and are issued based on application and inspection approvals. The Municipality of Chatham-Kent will send renewal reminders by mail approximately 45 days prior to the licence expiry. It is the licence holder's responsibility to ensure that the licence is valid and up-to-date whether you receive the reminder or not.

Chatham-Kent Economic Development

Starting a business can be an overwhelming process. Chatham-Kent Economic Development Services can assist you through this process by providing confidential and free assistance to your business.