Exploring the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: City of St. John's Welcome Centre

Wendy and Ross are just two of the knowledgeable and friendly staff that can help you at the  City of St. John’s Welcome Centre .

Wendy and Ross are just two of the knowledgeable and friendly staff that can help you at the City of St. John’s Welcome Centre.

Thinking of starting a business in St. John’s? Maybe you’re experiencing information overload and struggling to navigate business start-up requirements and regulations? If so, the knowledgeable staff of the City of St. John’s Welcome Centre can help you navigate municipal and community resources.

The City of St. John's is committed to economic development and promotes the City as an optimum place to live, visit and do business. To facilitate this, the City of St. John’s Welcome Centre brings together several city departments to provide easy access to resources and services for business owners, new residents and visitors in the city.

Read on for an overview of their services related to understanding municipal guidelines, distributing economic data, and navigating development regulations:

Municipal Regulations

Operating a Business in the City of St. John's: A Guide to Municipal Regulations        provides a general overview of the regulations, permits, processes, and taxes as they apply to businesses in the City of St. John’s.

Operating a Business in the City of St. John's: A Guide to Municipal Regulations provides a general overview of the regulations, permits, processes, and taxes as they apply to businesses in the City of St. John’s.

Starting a small business gives rise to new experiences and endless questions. Will you start from scratch, buy an established business or purchase a franchise? What permits will you need? What regulations will apply to your business? An area that is often overlooked in business planning is local (municipal) regulations. If you are starting a business in St. John's, we suggest you contact the business services in the Welcome Centre first to learn more about regulations and requirements for your business. You can find out about:

  • Applications - What applications do I need to complete?

  • Permits - What permits do I require; how do I get them and what will they cost?

  • Tax Information - What municipal taxes apply to my business?

  • Zoning Requirements - Is my location zoned for my type of business?

Economic Data

The City of St. John's collects and distributes a variety of economic and statistical information that can be useful for business planning purposes, such as: neighbourhood demographic profiles; residential survey results; and annual, mid-year and monthly economic updates. The monthly Economic Update electronic newsletter provides current economic data and business information. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. Other publications include semi-annual economic reviews, a State of the Economy report, and demographic reports.To access these and other reports, please refer to the publications section of the municipal website.

Development Regulations

For people who have a business idea, development plan or construction project in mind, but may not be ready to formally apply for a project, the City’s Development Team can help. The Development Team is comprised of city staff from several departments who will meet with you informally and confidentiality to discuss your idea. Staff can offer advice on the application process, zoning, fees, regulations, timelines, availability of municipal water and sewage services, and other requirements for the proposed development. The Development Team is also available to meet with applicants who wish to discuss the status of their current development application. For further information, or to arrange a meeting with the Development Team, send an e-mail to: planning@stjohns.ca


Conveniently located at 348 Water Street in the heart of the downtown, the City of St. John’s Welcome Centre operates their drop-in business information service centre from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may also call or e-mail for information.

City of St. John’s Welcome Centre
348 Water Street
St. John’s, NL
A1C 1C4

P: (709) 576-8107
E: business@stjohns.ca