Open a business or launch a company

Last updated November 8, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

Would you like to open a business, take ownership of a commercial space, create a business establishment or run a company from home? Would you like to speak with an economic development commissioner? Find out what you need to do according to your situation.

Assistance and financial aid

To learn more about the various types of financial assistance offered by the city, see the information below on subsidies or contact your borough’s economic development commissioner. 

The economic development commissioner helps support development on commercial streets and facilitates groups of businesspeople and merchants. He or she is also very familiar with the city’s subsidy programs. 

Learn more about subsidy programs

Contact the economic development commissioner in my borough

Renting or purchasing commercial space

Do you need an office, commercial space or industrial space? Are you taking ownership of an existing space? 


Before renting or purchasing your space, make sure that the activity you plan to carry out is authorized by zoning laws.

Contact the permit counter in the borough where your business will be located or view the interactive zoning map.

View the interactive map (in French)

Contact the permit counter

Occupancy permits

Next, you need to apply for an occupancy permit for commercial or professional activity, also known as an occupancy certificate.

This procedure is necessary even if you are only using part of your home as an office. 

Apply for an occupancy permit

Development work

If you would like to have work done inside your business space or on the building’s facade, you will need a renovation permit. This permit may be required when you apply for your occupancy permit.

Find out more about interior renovations

Find out more about exterior renovations

Designing your business

The “Design Guide for Resilient Businesses” gives you tools to redesign the space and services of your store, restaurant or small grocery store with a view to resilience and mitigation of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the pandemic. Learn more

Commercial signs

Do you need a sign for your store, restaurant or business establishment? First, you need to have an occupancy certificate or have already applied for one. 

Apply for a commercial sign permit

Commercial terrace

Would you like to build a terrace outside your restaurant or grocery store? Certain rules apply, depending on: 

  • The borough in which your establishment is located.
  • The nature of your activity. 
  • The location of the terrace (private property or road/street).

In some cases, in addition to a permit to build a terrace, you may also need a café-terrace permit. 

See information about terraces

Apply for a permit for a terrace on private property

Apply for a permit for a terrace on public property