Grand Forks Business License Information

Please fill out the following information to assist the City in understanding business issues and needs in the community.

Business is defined in the City of Grand Forks Business License Bylaw #1384 as carrying on a commercial or industrial undertaking of any kind, or the providing of professional, personal or other services for the purpose of gain or profit. Basically, anything that is done for the purpose of making money is deemed to be a business, and, as such, is required to hold a valid business license in the City of Grand Forks.


There are four business license categories in the City of Grand Forks defined as follows:

Regular Business (includes Home-based): A business with under 20 employees or a business licence operated from home, other than an Itinerant business

Large Business: A business with more than 20 employees including a non resident business with more than 20 employees other than an Itinerant business

Itinerant Business: Every individual personally selling or soliciting the sale from door-to-door within the City of any goods, wares or merchandise, contracts for repairs, renovations, books, magazines or periodicals, whether of an educational nature or not or as an agent for another

Event Business: Is a gathering of many business enterprises for a limited engagement such as trade shows, markets or arts & craft sales

SOCAN: If you use music, live or recorded, in your business or for your event please click on this link for licensing information as it is Federal Copyright Law.


The business license fee is an annual fee determined by the type of business operation. Regular Business and Home Based Business is $75.00, Large Business is $200.00, Itinerant is $250.00 and Event Business is $75.00. The fee is payable at the issuance of the license.


All businesses follow the same basic procedure for applying for a City of Grand Forks business license. Applications are available at City Hall or you can download the Business License Application below. The information required for completion of the application is name of applicant, name of business, mailing and civic addresses, phone number, number of employees, business opening date, type of business, and type of service or product sold.

Business License Application Form

If the business is a limited company, partnership, or the like, the names and addresses of the principal officers are required as well. The applicant is required to reveal whether or not they have previously held a license in the City before, whether or not they have had a previous license revoked and provide some form of identification. If the application is for a trade, which requires certification, the applicant must provide the name of the certified trades-persons as well as their certification or proficiency number.

Upon completion of the application, the applicant submits it to City Hall, where it starts its round of approvals. All licenses are required to be approved by the License Inspector and the Fire Chief. The License Inspector ensures that all the details of the application are complete, that there are no discrepancies on the applications and that it complies with the City of Grand Forks Business License Bylaw, Zoning Bylaw or Noise Bylaw for example. Depending on the type of application, the Fire Chief may, if he deems necessary, request to do an inspection of the premises. As well, an inspection by the Public Health Inspector may be required if the business requires a certain level of hygiene, such as food, food service, hairdressers, daycare, etc.

The required approvals generally take about two weeks.

If inspections are necessary the timeline could be somewhat longer. Upon final approval, the applicant is contacted and may pick up and pay for their business license. The license is required to be posted prominently at the place of business. Renewal notices are sent out in January and are automatically sent to all holders of valid licenses. For further information regarding business licenses in the City of Grand Forks, please contact City Hall.


You can begin the process for a City of Grand Forks business license on-line through our partnership with the provincial government”s OneStop Business Registration Service. This service also allows you to simultaneously apply for numerous provincial and federal registrations as well if you need them. Please note that you still need to follow through the Business License Application with the City.

You can also change your address with the City of Grand Forks on-line through our partnership with the provincial government”s OneStop Business Address Change Service. This service also allows you to simultaneously change your address with numerous provincial and federal agencies as well if you need to.

BizPaL Online Business Permits and Licences

BizPaL is an innovative online service that allows business clients to easily generate a customized list of the permits and licences they require from three levels of government – local, provincial and federal – by providing some generic information about the business.

Benefits of BizPaL

Finding out which government requirements apply to a certain business type can be time consuming and frustrating. BizPaL was created to help identify what you may require, quickly and easily. The information you need is available from a single source; entrepreneurs spend less time dealing with red tape – saving effort and money in the process – and more time building their business.

This service is the result of strong collaboration between the Government of Canada and participating provincial/territorial, regional, and municipal governments and is designed with the following benefits in mind:

  • It’s free to use
  • It saves time
  • It’s available 24/7

Launch the BizPaL service