Business Licensing

In accordance with our By-Law No. 1395, a business license is required in order to provide services or products in the Town of Hay River. To apply for a business license you will need to complete a Business License Application form, which are available at Town Hall or on our website. Please note that the class of business will determine the cost of your business license. All business licenses MUST be approved by our Bylaw Division.

Business licenses are also non-transferrable and it is the responsibility of the new owner to apply for a business license. Penalty for violation of any provision of this bylaw is $500.00 + court costs for an individual and $1000.00 + court costs for a corporation for the first offence.

Please note that if your class of business is Home Occupation you will also need to complete a Home Development Application, which costs $50.00. If you do not own your home, you must have the permission of the owner to operate your business from the location. Once your application is approved by our Development Officer there is a two-week waiting period in case there is an appeal. After this time period has elapsed, the Town will issue the business license and you can proceed to operate your business.

  • Class of License
  • Commercial $150.00
  • Home Occupation $200.00
  • Student $10.00
  • Seasonal Tourist $100.00
  • Non-Conforming $200.00
  • Non-Resident $350.00
  • Salesperson Sub-License $25.00

Town of Hay River

Class of License Description & Fee

As per By-law No. 2431 – Fees and Charges Bylaw



any person engaged in commercial activity for gain or livelihood but does not include a business that is regulated by an Act of Parliament or the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories or any other exempt business as may be prescribed by regulation.

Resident Business

any business which maintains a place of business within the Town for at least 184 days of any licensing period. (Commercial license- $100.00)

Home Occupation

any business carried on by a person who is an occupant of a residential building as a use secondary to the residential use of the building, and as defined in the zoning and planning by-laws of the Town. (Development permit = $50.00 Business license $132.50)


any business owned and operated by a person presently attending an educational institution or enrolled in an ongoing post-secondary educational program. (License $10.00)

Seasonal Tourist

any business that operates primarily for the traveling public on a seasonal basis only. (License $50.00)


a business conducted as a non-conforming use pursuant to the zoning and planning by-laws of the Town, the Act, or the Planning Act, R.S.N.W.T.  1974, Chapter P-8, as amended. (License $188.00)


any business which does not maintain a place of business in the Town for a period of at least 183 days of any licensing period. (License $275.00)


per By-law 1395 “B”, Section 17, (2) – Where an applicant intends to have Canvassers, hawkers, or pedlars operating under its business license, a Salesperson Sub-License shall be issued to each canvasser, hawker, or pedlar upon payment of the appropriate fees.  (License $25.00)

Lottery Licensing:

Any person or organization wishing to conduct a Lottery within the Town of Hay River must apply for a lottery license in accordance with the Town of Hay River’s Lottery License By-law No. 2349. A lottery is described as any “Game of Chance” which includes:  Bingos, Nevada Tickets, Casinos, Raffles- including 50/50 draws & Chase the Ace, and Sports Drafts.  In order to qualify for a lottery license the application must be approved by the Senior Administration Officer and the proceeds of the event must be used for one or more of the following:

  1. Promote relief of poverty or disease
  2. Promote religion
  3. Promote education or training
  4. Be of benefit to the community as a whole
  5. Support member orientated purposes specified in the by-law

There is an initial license fee + an additional fee based on the value of the prize.  See the following schedule:

  1. License Application (more than seven days prior to the lottery) is $50.00 & application fee as determined by prize amount
    1. Less than $1000.00                                                                            $    .00
    2. Between $1000. & $6999.00                                                            $50.00
    3. Between $7000. & $20,000.                                                            $300.00
    4. More than $20,000. & not more than $50,000.                           $1500.0
  2. Nevada 6-month Club Room License                                                       $3750.00
  3. License Application seven or less days prior to the event.                   $100.00 + prize fee
  4. License amendment more than seven days prior to the event.           $50.00
  5. License amendment seven or less days prior to the event.                  $100.00
  6. Processing fee for incorrect or incomplete data.                                    $25.00

For more details on lottery licenses, review the Town of Hay River’s By-Law No. 2349 on the web site.