Business licensing with the Town of Fort Frances

Business Licensing

A business license is required to operate a business in the Town of Fort Frances, whether it be a home occupation, retail store front or a booth at a special event.  A business license ensures the safety of our citizens and your customers and is proof that your business complies with laws and regulations within the Town of Fort Frances.

Typically business licensing by-laws are enacted as a means by which enforcement can be undertaken to protect against potential infractions in the following areas:  public health, safety, nuisance control and consumer protection.   To review a copy of the Business Licensing By-law please click here.

Your license application may require inspection and approval by staff of zoning, buildings and fire departments prior to issuance.  Other specialized businesses such as hair salons or restaurants must also obtain approval from the local Health Unit.  This review by staff is necessary to determine whether the type of business and location are compliant with Town By-laws.  Some areas of the Town are reserved for residential or commercial use and before a business license can be issued, the location is checked to ensure that the business will be operating in the correct zoning area.  If you know the zoning of the property and want to review the permitted uses, please click here to access the Zoning By-law.

If you wish to operate a business in the Town of Fort Frances, we ask that you contact us prior to submitting your application and opening your business, we would be pleased to assist you with the application process.  Fees are payable when the completed application is submitted and are non-refundable.

Licensing fees are established to offset the cost of the related enforcement and inspection programs; the cost of administering and enforcing the regulations should be borne by the business/trade and not by the public through tax revenues.  To review a copy of the Town of Fort Frances current fees, please click here.

Business licenses are in effect from January 1 to December 31 (calendar year).


Click Here for the business license application. You may also pick up a copy at the front desk of the Civic Centre, 320 Portage Avenue, Fort Frances between the hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm.


The By-law Enforcement Officers provide a layer of protection for consumers by regulating and monitoring business operators to ensure that businesses operating in the Town of Fort Frances meet all standards of governing by-laws.

Following the issuance of a business license, the by-law enforcement officers begin monitoring businesses, enforcing the Town’s by-laws and taking action relating to citizen queries and issues.

In addition to regulating businesses, the officers patrol the Town to identify unlicensed operators.  Having a valid business license is imperative to ensure businesses accord with by-law standards.


Since business licenses are valid only for a calendar year (or portion thereof), you will be notified before year end that your business license is expiring.  Please promptly complete the renewal form and return with payment to the Civic Centre.

Consumer Complaints

Complaints filed with the Town Office will form the basis for an investigation into a company’s business practices.  In some cases, significant numbers of complaints about a business may give rise to legal action in order to enforce municipal law.  Complaints are investigated on behalf of the complainant and for the public good. 

What we Don’t Do

Town of Fort Frances licensing staff and enforcement officers do not deal with health or food safety complaints – these should be directly addressed with the Northwestern Health Unit at 274-9827.

We don’t deal with sketchy business practices, if the complaint is regarding fraud, then it should go directly to the Ministry of Consumer Services.

We do not mediate contract disputes except where the tariff fee has been set by the Town of Fort Frances (i.e. Taxicabs).


Elaine Oster

Phone:  807-274-5323 ext 1210


Clinton Gray

By-law Enforcement/Animal Control Officer

Phone:  807-274-5323 ext 1218


Gabrielle Lecuyer

Municipal Clerk

Phone:  807-274-5323 ext 1215