Gatineau has revised its process for issuing business permits so as to better inform applicants, simplify the approach and ensure more accountability by all parties.
Business permits provide assurance that the activities of a business comply with requirements. In order to ensure that the activity you are proposing is authorized under existing by-laws, it is very important that you check with the Service de l'urbanisme et du développement durable in your sector.
Business permits help ensure that different economic and administrative activities co-exist harmoniously throughout the territory.
Any person, association, business or corporation that intends to engage in an economic or administrative activity in Gatineau must first obtain a business permit. The activity in question may be of a financial, commercial, industrial or service nature, and may involve a trade, an art, a profession, or any other activity pursued within Gatineau.
- When you have a place of business
A business permit is required for any new establishment where a commercial, industrial, community, recreational or agricultural activity is to be pursued.
A new business permit is also required if you are expanding or reducing your place of business, moving from one location to another in a given building or in another building, or adding a new use or changing a use in your place of business.
- When you wish to engage in a temporary activity
A business permit is required for a temporary use for limited period of time, as established in the zoning by-law. This could for instance involve temporary occupancy for selling or exhibiting in a building, selling agricultural products in accordance with the applicable by-law, or a fair, a festival, a public celebration or an amusement park.
- When you want to pursue an economic activity in your home
Since January 2018, it is no longer necessary to obtain a business permit to pursue your activity. However, the general provisions applicable are still in effect for the types of accessory uses and the approved addition. Conditions to be met for an accessory use of a dwelling.
- When you want to pursue an economic activity in a building with more than 60 units or more than 120 rooms
A business permit is always required
- When you have no fixed place of business
Gatineau issues permits for itinerant activities. These are for businesses that have no fixed place of business in Gatineau, such as mobile canteens and itinerant businesses.
- To request information or to obtain a business permit, you must fill out the application form and return it in person or by e-mail to the Service de l'urbanisme et du développement durable in your sector.
- You will receive an attestation of admissibility or non-admissibility. If your application is admissible, you will be provided with the list of steps you must take and of documents you must provide.
- If you decide to proceed with your project, you will have to go to the Service de l'urbanisme et du développement durable in your sector and hand in your application form, the attestation of admissibility and all other documents listed as required. In most cases, you will be required to pay a fee, which is non-refundable and non-transferable. Check the list of fees.
Business permits must be updated annually. There is a fee for the validation of the information and the issuance of the new permit.
A business permit issued pursuant to the by-law is only valid for:
- the person or business in whose name it was issued;
- the place of business indicated; and
- the use for which it was issued.
The business permit must be clearly visible in your place of business. A municipal inspector may visit to ensure the building's compliance with safety and usage specifications.
The outside layout and signs must also comply with the applicable by-laws.
For most liquor permit applications, the RACJ publishes a public notice in a newspaper distributed throughout the municipal territory where the establishment is located. This gives any person, company or association the chance to express their opposition to an application within 30 days after the notice is published. In order to apply for such a licence, you must provide the following documents to the business permits unit:
- a detailed plan of the layout of the room or terrace of the establishment, and the calculation of its seating capacity approved by an architect, carrying an architect's seal;
- a business permit application (also called a certificate of occupancy by the RACJ);
- a building permit, if applicable;
- the registration with the Registraire des entreprises confirming the establishment's corporate name and address.
Within 30 days, Ville de Gatineau will submit a report indicating whether it objects to the issuance of the liquor permit. To this end, Gatineau shall check each of the following items in accordance with the current municipal by-laws:
- consistency of the use with the zoning by-law;
- whether the use is an acquired right under the zoning by-law;
- for liquor permits that require it, whether the use is subject to a conditional use approval pursuant to a resolution by the Municipal Council, in which case the owner must demonstrate that he or she has complied with the conditions set out in the resolution and any others stated by Gatineau;
- the validity of the building permit, the completion of the construction work and its compliance with the permit issued;
- compliance of signage;
- the validity and compliance of the business permit;
- the compliance of the seating capacity charts with municipal authorizations;
- if applicable, the signing of a voluntary declaration and engagement.
If Gatineau is unable to verify any of the above, a statement of objection to the issuance of a liquor permit is submitted to the RACJ in a timely manner. In order to avoid any additional delays or costs, such as the rejection of your application for a liquor permit, all of the above items must be analyzed by Gatineau within 30 days after the publication of the public notice. Thus, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have obtained all of the necessary approvals and complied with all of the necessary requirements.
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