Permits and Licenses

In order to do business in Canada, and to comply with government regulations, you may need a variety of licences and permits from different levels of government.

Building Permits

The City of Cornwall strives to build a safe and healthy community for its residents. By enforcing provincial building codes and assisting developers and designers, the City works to ensure the structures in our community are safe and healthy.

The province has designed a set of construction standards intended to offer a high level of safety in the buildings where they live, work and play. Obtaining a building permit ensures that your building meet these standards in the Ontario Building Code. They are necessary to ensure that provincial laws, zoning requirements and fire and structural safety standards are met.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure that a building permit is obtained when required. The City of Cornwall’s Building and Bylaw Division reviews all building permit applications to ensure they follow building code requirements.

To apply, you must visit the Building and Bylaw Services to obtain a building permit application.


The City of Cornwall requires certain types of businesses to obtain a municipal business license in order to operate in the city.  The license application process may require an inspection and approval by staff of Zoning, Building, Police, Health or Fire.

In most cases, licenses can be issued within 3-4 weeks of receiving the application. However, you may experience a delay if you did not submit enough information or if you failed to meet some of the licensing requirements. Licenses are typically renewed each year.

A number of occupations and businesses must be licensed in Cornwall such as pet stores, eating establishments and auto repair shops.

For more information about licenses and permits, please contact the Planning, Building & By-Law Department.