City of Toronto launches online business licensing and permit application

The City of Toronto has launched a new online Business Licences & Permits Application so businesses can apply for new licences and permits virtually. The new application process allows business owners or operators requiring new licences or permits to fill out an application, submit documentation, and complete payment in one convenient online space.

The online application is one of the many new tools that will be vital in the safe restart of City services. It pivots what was once face-to-face to a completely online process – reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission and creating new process efficiencies within the city.

To access the online application, applicants can select the licence or permit they are applying for on the toronto.ca Permits and Licences webpage, review the list of requirements, and an application link will be available on the specific licence or permit webpage. The Permits and Licences webpage is available here: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/permits-licences-bylaws/. Licensing staff are available by phone at 416-392-6700 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday to assist business owners and operators with licensing questions.

The issuance of new business licences and renewal of existing licences has been suspended since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. No business licence has been cancelled and no late fees have been charged since March 17.

Municipal Licensing & Standards is resuming business licensing and enforcement as part of the City’s recovery and rebuild efforts. Bylaw officers will be focusing on education and encouraging business owners to visit the online application to apply for new licence or to work with MLS to renew their existing licenses.

The City has started issuing Licence Renewal Notices to existing licensed businesses, advising operators of the need to renew their licence. Late fees will begin to be assessed as of August 4, 2020, and business licences will be cancelled for non-payment after 90 days. Existing licensees can continue to renew their licences by mail or by email to [email protected] and complete payment online. The licensing office at the East York Civic Centre remains closed to the public.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

Quotes:

“We are starting to see a lot of innovative ideas as part of the rebuild and recovery of our city. This new portal will allow business owners to apply for new licences from the comfort of their own home which will help us from preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keep staff and the community safe. The COVID-19 response gave us that extra push to put these efficiencies in place quickly. Every division is now looking at where we can implement similar new processes to restart City of Toronto operations and keep people safe.”

- Mayor John Tory

“Business licensing is an important part of keeping our community safe. Suspending licensing and enforcement was the right thing to do as businesses navigated the pandemic, but now that we are in Stage 2 and reopening, we need to make sure businesses are operating safely and legally. This new, virtual solution simplifies the licensing process for businesses, protects licensing staff and applicants, and lets businesses focus on providing services in our communities and helping our economy.”

- Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 24 Scarborough-Guildwood), Chair of the General Government and Licensing Committee

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