Did you know? Home-based food businesses are not permitted in the City of Ottawa
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many have sought out new business opportunities. While the City of Ottawa supports residents in these endeavours, please first ensure that the business can operate legally from the location of your choice.
Specifically, it has come to the City’s attention that there has been an increase in home-based food businesses over the past few months. These businesses tend to sell food through online platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Kijii and other local Chinese platforms, for example.
This type of business is not allowed to operate out of a residential property.
In fact, all food premises and food businesses, including catering companies, must prepare and store food in a commercial licensed kitchen. In addition, they must comply with the regulations as indicated under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
While there are some businesses that are permitted to operate from a residential property, otherwise known as a home-based business, home-based food businesses are not allowed.
Any business that requires a City of Ottawa Business license is generally not permitted
to operate as a home-based business under the City of Ottawa Zoning By-law.
Restaurants that operate legally, not only obtain a food premise license, which must be renewed annually, but they also are subject to Public Health inspections (PHIs). PHIs make sure that the food you are eating is prepared using safe and clean practices. Results of these inspections are posted on ottawapublichealth.ca.
Residents with concerns about food premises that are operating without a business license and/or from a residential property should file a report via 3-1-1, and an Officer will be dispatched to investigate.
Food businesses that operate illegally will be served with a notice to cease operations. Failure to do so can result in fines up to $50,000.
Disclaimer：Any business listed in this section must agree to follow the city's licensing requirement for food services. CFC does not take responsibility in any damage caused by services listed in this section