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Small Business

The City of Windsor is committed to our small business customers. Whether you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur looking to start a small business, this page provides some helpful information and links.

Where can I get information about small business including starting a business, funding, marketing and preparing a business plan?

  • The Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre is a no-charge public service available to assist new and existing business entrepreneurs.  Free consultations are available by appointment for those seeking guidance on government rules and regulations, available funding, marketing, cash flow or preparing a business plan. A partnership of the Windsor Essex Development Corporation and the Province of Ontario, the Small Business Centre is the local place to start for small business information.
  • The Self Employment Assistance Office assists persons who are Employment Insurance eligible who want to start and operate their own business. This is a provincially funded program run through St. Clair College.

What licences and permits do I need to start my small business?

  • BizPaL is an online service that helps entrepreneurs generate a personalized list of the Permits and Licences they need, for all levels of government, to grow or start up their business.

What type of business licences does the City regulate and what are the fees?

  • The City of Windsor licences only some types of businesses. These are found in the Licence Index. By clicking on a particular licence category, you can find the fees and other important information related to this type of business.

How do I register a business name?

  • To register a business name, you must do so through the provincial Service Ontario office. This is different from registering with the City of Windsor to obtain a business licence. The Service Ontario website also includes a variety of useful information for business owners.

How can I get information on Business Improvement Areas (BIA's)?

  • A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of property and business owners within a specified district who join together in beautification, promotion, and other development activities aimed at stimulating local business in that district. Visit our Business Improvement Areas page for more detailed information.

What do small businesses need to know about serving persons with disabilities?

  • The Province of Ontario has passed legislation that will require all businesses to meet certain requirements to make their goods and services more accessible to persons with disabilities. All businesses with at least one employee will have to comply with this new Accessible Customer Service standard by January 1, 2012. Find what you will need to do on the Ministry of Community and Social Services website.

Who's looking out for small business owners?

  • The Small Business Advisory Panel (SBAP) is a committee of Council that seeks to develop and implement strategies to promote and enhance the small business sector of Windsor's economy.  Comprised of small business owners, council members and municipal administration, it also serves as a liaison and point of contact between the City of Windsor and the small business community.

Other Resources

Contact Information:

For general information, please call 311.