State of emergency: COVID-19 in Niagara

Business Licensing

Due to high volume, police record checks can take five to eight weeks to complete. Apply for these checks well in advance of a licence expiring or before attending the office for a first time licence application.

By-law Review

We're reviewing our business licensing by-laws and would like your feedback

Survey and information centres

Niagara Region has the authority to pass by-laws to licence, regulate and govern various businesses and occupations.

Licence Categories

  • Taxi brokers, owners, drivers and vehicles
  • Transportation network companies (i.e. Rideshare), drivers and vehicles
  • Shuttle service owners, drivers and vehicles
  • Sight seeing vehicle owners, drivers and vehicles
  • Paratransit taxi owners, drivers and vehicles
  • Caleche services, owners, drivers and horses
  • Tow truck owners, drivers and vehicles
  • Second-hand shops and dealers
  • Auto wrecking and salvage yards

We also have delegated authority to regulate and govern the adult entertainment industry:

  • Parlour owners, operators and entertainers in Fort Erie, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland
  • Body rub parlour owners, operators and attendants in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls

Criminal Records Checks

All licence applicants must present a Police Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Background Check at the time of licence application.

Documents must be the original and no older than 30 days from the date of licence application.

Ontario Driver's Licence

All persons applying for a driver's licence must have a present and original unrestricted Class G Ontario driver's licence at the time of application.

Ontario Driver's Abstract

All persons applying for a driver’s licence must present, at the time of application, an Ontario Ministry of Transportation driver's abstract. The document must be the original and no older than 30 days from the date of licence application.

Proof of Eligibility to Work in Canada

If a licence applicant is born outside of Canada, proof of citizenship, landed immigrant status and / or a valid work permit is required at the time of application.

All applicants, born in Canada or outside Canada, must provide proof of a valid Social Insurance Number at the time of licence application. No record of the actual Social Insurance Number is maintained by the Licensing Office.

Video: Review of Business Licensing By-laws

We need your help to improve our business licensing by-laws.


To report an incident, file a complaint, make an enquiry or for general information, contact the Business Licensing department:

905-980-6000 ext. 6380
Email Business Licensing

Office Location
5853 Peer St., 2nd floor
Niagara Falls

Hours of Operation

Administrative Services
For processing of licence applications, payment of fees and issuance of licences:
Monday to Friday
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Or by appointment

Operational Services
For inspections, investigations and enforcement:
Monday to Sunday
7:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Other Requirements

  • Vehicles

    All persons wishing to licence a vehicle for use as a vehicle for hire must present the following original documents:

    • Original Vehicle Safety Certificate no older than 30 days from date of application (if the vehicle is a new vehicle the dealership sales documentation will act as the safety certificate)
    • Original Vehicle Propane Inspection Certificate no older than 30 days from date of application
    • Proof of Vehicle Insurance for $2 million per incident per vehicle and the long form of either the fleet policy or a personal policy with a 6A coverage rider
    • Vehicle Ownership including the plate portion
    • Ministry of Transportation Vehicle Certification (tow trucks and some patient transportation vehicles)

    All licensed vehicles will be inspected annually by Regional Licensing and enforcement officers.

    Taxi meters will be inspected annually to ensure the devices remain accurate. They will also be inspected when a taxi meter seal is broken or damaged, or if the meter has been repaired or replaced. A meter test will be conducted on all newly licensed taxi vehicles before a licence is issued.

  • Caleche

    Caleche owners must present an annual Veterinary Certificate for each horse that will be used to provide the service.

    All harnesses, safety features, wagons, carriages and buggies will be inspected annually by licensing and enforcement officers.

    Caleche owners and drivers will obey all rules of the road as outlined in the Highway Traffic Act or Municipal By-laws.

  • Businesses

    The following businesses must have local area municipality business approval that includes zoning, fire, planning or other specific stipulations required for their particular business operation:

    • Taxi brokers
    • Second-hand shops and dealers
    • Salvage yards
    • Auto wrecking yards
    • Adult entertainment parlours
    • Body-rub parlours

    Businesses also require proof of general liability insurance as outlined for the specific business for each incident pursuant to the specific by-law that covers the business. Only long form proof of insurance will be accepted.

    All documentation presented must be the original.

  • Business registers

    The following businesses shall email the previous day's business daily register to by 10 a.m., seven days a week:

    • Tow truck businesses
    • Second-hand shops and dealers
    • Salvage yards
    • Auto wrecking yards
    • Adult entertainment parlours
    • Body-rub parlours
  • By-laws

    Niagara Region

    St. Catharines (adult entertainment and body rub parlours)

    • By-law 92-461
    • By-law 93-95
    • By-law 94-17
    • By-law 95-396
    • By-law 95-397
    • By-law 2002-344
    • By-law 2005-318
    • By-law 2008-126
    • By-law 2010-93

    Niagara Falls (adult entertainment and body rub parlours)

    • By-law 2002-197
    • By-law 2002-200
    • By-law 2002-201
    • By-law 2004-14


    • By-law 137-2012
    • By-law 42-2014

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