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Having a criminal record makes it hard to get a professional licence. For example, if you are thinking of starting a business, a city could ask for a record check. Likewise, if you want to practice a trade, a licensing body may bar you based on your record.

Which jobs require licences?

Firstly, many towns and cities require background checks for permits. Affected trades include:

  • Auctioneers
  • Building renovators
  • Taxi drivers
  • Food stores
  • Salons and haircutters

Some professions are regulated. This means you may have to get a licence to practice. Some examples are:

  • Architect
  • Dental hygienist
  • Massage therapist
  • Insurance broker

Obtaining a business or professional licence

Business owners must submit applications to their municipalities. Although the process varies, they will ask for:

  • Two pieces of government-issued identification
  • A lease agreement or letter of cancellation from the previous owner with their licence if the business has a physical location
  • An criminal background check issued by a Canadian police service

Some municipalities request a criminal record check. For instance, the City of Toronto requires a background check for a permit. This must be issued within 280 days prior applying. Also, you must resubmit every four years.

A background check may reveal:

  • Criminal convictions: finding of guilt including a sentence or fine or forfeiture. This may also include probation.
  • Absolute and conditional discharges: admission of guilt without a criminal conviction.
  • Other non-conviction records: withdrawn charges. These could show up even if you were not found guilty.

In big cities, business permits can be competitive. Having a criminal record could hurt your chances.

What can you do?

A criminal record should not bar you indefinitely from practicing as a tradesperson or professional.

To erase your record, you can apply for a Record Suspension.

Obtaining a Record Suspension

You may qualify for a Record Suspension. The waiting period is five or ten years depending on the charges. A Record Suspension used to be called a pardon in Canada. It demonstrates rehabilitation. This helps build trust. Thus, it helps you establish a professional reputation.

Once you have a Record Suspension, you can apply for a permit or licence without worry. When you get your record check back, it will be clear.  You can carry out your practice or trade without fear of having your licence revoked.  

If you would like to obtain a Record Suspension, contact us today for a free consultation at 1-866-972-7366.