Be informed before you hire a contractor!

and image of animal cages used by wildlife removal companies

Are you thinking of hiring someone to do work around your home? Before you sign anything, do your research and find the right – and licensed – company for the job! This can save you time, unnecessary stress and money in the long run.


In Vaughan, all renovators, fence installers, pavers, landscapers, pool installers and snowplow contractors must be licensed by the City. As outlined in the City’s Business Licensing By-law 122-2022 (PDF), these businesses are required to take various measures to protect you, their employees and the community at large. This includes providing services in compliance with all relevant City by-laws and regulations, carrying a certain amount of liability insurance, and providing a written contract to customers, among others. At a recent Council meeting (PDF), the by-law was amended to include wildlife removal companies.


How to protect yourself

To check if a contractor is licensed by the City, you can call 905-832-2281 or email However, the fact that a contractor is licensed does not necessarily mean they are best suited for the work. Even if a contractor is licensed by the City, you must do your own due diligence to ensure the contractor is qualified and a good fit for the job. You should look for a contractor that shows up on time, deals with your questions and concerns directly, has experience with the type of work to be done and provides references.


The Government of Ontario offers tips for hiring a reliable contractor, including setting a clear budget, getting written estimates from at least three contractors and asking if the tradespeople hired have their certification from the Skilled Trades Ontario.


Ask your friends, family, co-workers and neighbours for recommendations on good contractors. You can also contact accredited organizations like the Canadian Home Builders' Association and the Better Business Bureau, visit a home show and look at local advertising. Always use caution when contacting companies that advertise illegally, such as placing stickers and posters on public property. These companies are often not licensed. 


How to licence your business

As a business owner, you must ensure you are licensed with the City. You can apply online for business licences and permits and can submit, pay for and check the status of your application anytime. Visit to get started. 


You can apply for a permit to post signs advertising your business. If you have a licence, you must include your licence number on all promotional material used in Vaughan. You must also display a City-issued placard on the dashboard of any vehicles used in connection with your business.


The Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre provides one-stop services for existing business owners, with access to business information, resources, training and hands-on assistance to grow a business in Vaughan.


How the City manages illegal signs

The Sign By-law 140-2018 (PDF) outlines rules around the use of signs to ensure they do not impact the appearance of the community or the safety of residents. Signs put up in Vaughan must comply with the Sign By-law and, in some cases, require a City-issued permit.


When a sign is installed without a permit on property owned by/under the jurisdiction of the City, the sign could be removed without notice. When a sign is installed without a permit on private property, the City may issue a notice stating the sign must be removed. If the sign is not removed, the City may remove it at the sign owner’s expense.


Any person violating the Sign By-law may be fined up to $20,000 for each offence. Any corporation violating the Sign By-law may be fined up to $50,000 for each offence.


Visit the Sign By-law webpage to learn more.


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