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Starting a Business

Mosaic design

The Town of Essex, with its central location in the County, access to major roads and efficient services, and its broad range of rural and urban employment activities, is suitable for a wide variety of businesses.

Community improvement

For industrial and commercial enterprises, we are expanding the settlement areas of Essex Centre and Harrow to accommodate new business park development. In Harrow, we have a Community Improvement Plan to encourage public/private partnerships for building reuse, rehabilitation and expansion. Streetscape improvements are ongoing in all of our urban communities.

Industrial and commercial land use districts are identified in our general zoning by-law, By-law 1037. Contact the Planning Department for more information concerning land use policies and future plans for a specific community or location.

Turn your great idea into a great business

The WindsorEssex Small Business Centre offers start-up kits, advice, workshops and seminars, business plan support, research assistance and access to youth entrepreneurship programs. For more information, visit the Essex office at 39 Maidstone Avenue East or call them at 519-776-1116.

Business licences are not required for most commercial and industrial uses and services, but we encourage registration of your business with the Town so that we can help you to have a visible presence in our community and region.

Home occupations, including bed and breakfast establishments, and ancillary occupations to agricultural operations are also recognized as desirable employment generators. They are permitted in most areas of the Town, but are subject to regulations related to their size, location on the property, material storage and other limits, to protect the amenities and activities on adjacent properties. Subsections 8.5 and 8.6 of By-law 1037 set out the provisions regarding the establishment of a residential home occupation and a farm home occupation. No licence is required by the Town, although registration with us would assist us in promoting the benefits of our community and your services.

Transient vendors are required to register with the Town. By-law 1037 permits temporary outdoor vendor sites, such as seasonal garden centres. Consult By-law 1037 (above) for the general regulations governing such activities. Contact the Planning Department for site specific information.