If your work takes place in several municipalities on Vancouver Island, you now have two options for a regional licence:
- Vancouver Island Inter-Community Business Licence – $170 and valid in participating municipalities on Vancouver Island including: Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney, Victoria, Esquimalt, Duncan, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, North Cowichan, Nanaimo, Parksville and more.
- Greater Victoria Inter-Municipal Business Licence – $100 and valid in all 13 Greater Victoria Municipalities
If your business is based in Central Saanich, you can apply for the additional licence by downloading the Business Licence Application form and submit to the Building Department at Municipal Hall.
Obtaining a business licence
- Submit a completed application form to the Municipal Hall.
- Identify which type of licence you need for your business, such as Intermunicipal, commercial or home-based. Not sure which one you are? See details below.
- A floor plan, to scale, is required as part of a commercial business licence application.
- Staff complete the review process; including zoning analysis, building file review and possible site inspection.
- An invoice will be mailed out, which can be paid through your online banking, by mail or in person.
- Once paid, the business licence will be mailed out.
- Renewal invoices are automatically mailed out late November/early December and due and payable within 60 days after the expiry date each year.
- Where a licence for a business is not renewed within 60 days after its expiry date, the holder of the licence shall pay a late payment fee of an additional 50%, in addition to the licence fee
Please note that a business licence will not be issued for a property where bylaw infractions exist, including an unauthorized secondary suite.
I want to learn more about...
All businesses operating, working, providing or selling a product or service in the District of Central Saanich shall be in possession of a valid business licence unless specifically exempted in Section 5 of the Business Licence Bylaw.
Along with the business licence, you may also need permits for new or replacement signage, any construction or building alterations, plumbing changes, or approvals from external agencies such as the Liquor Control and Licencing Branch (LCLB) or the Capital Regional District (CRD). The Provincial Liquor Control and Licencing Branch (LCLB) regulates restaurants, bars, pubs, liquor retailers, manufacturers and special events. The CRD reviews waste discharge and backflow prevention device testing.
Business licences are required for the following reasons:
- to review businesses for compliance with land use, building and fire regulations;
- to allow for the Fire Department to schedule regular inspections of life safety systems, including alarms, emergency lighting, sprinklers, exit paths and other fire safety issues;
- to gather land use information whereby commercial and industrial policies are based; and
- to facilitate planning decisions.
Yes, certain types of businesses are permitted to operate from your home, with some restrictions, pursuant to the District's Land Use Bylaw 1309 (Section 33). Details on Home Occupations can be found in this bulletin.
A home occupation may be located within the main dwelling or an accessory building, with an area of not more than 25% of the gross floor area of the dwelling unit. If located in an accessory building, the building must be less than 90 m2 in floor area.
An Inter-Municipal or an Inter-Community Business Licence allows mobile businesses (e.g. contractors and caterers) to operate across participating jurisdictions.
An Inter-Municipal Business Licence allows you to operate across the CRD as we have a partnership with all local governments in Greater Victoria. All Commercial businesses that are physically located in Central Saanich that also carry on business in other municipalities (such as installers) require both commercial and intermunicipal licence designation.
An Inter-Community Business Licence covers a wider region for those businesses working in other municipalities on the island. This additional licence would be valid in a number of areas, and currently includes Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Victoria, North Saanich, Sidney, Esquimalt, Sooke, North Cowichan, Lake Cowichan and Ladysmith.
- Annual licences are issued for a calendar year (Jan 1 - Dec 31)
- If your licence is issued after July 31, the invoice will be a half-year rate only
- Each location or premise where business takes place requires a separate licence
- The fee is not refundable if you close your business
- Your licence is not transferrable between municipalities (except for an Intermunicipal licence)
No licence can be granted where the premise is in contravention of any bylaw regarding business, building, zoning or land use
Home-Based Business - A business carried on as a home occupation (in the main dwelling or an accessory building) is permitted to a maximum area of 25% of the gross floor area of the dwelling unit. If located in an accessory building, the entire accessory building must be less than 90 m² in floor area. The Land Use Bylaw has additional requirements related to Home-Based businesses in Section 33.
Inter-Municipal - A business licence to carry on business within the boundaries of any participating municipality, and issued pursuant to the Intermunicipal Business Licence Agreement. All Commercial businesses that are physically located in Central Saanich that also carry on business in other municipalities (such as installers) require both commercial and intermunicipal licence designation.
Inter-Community - A business licence to carry on business within the boundaries of any participating municipality, and issued pursuant to the Intercommunity Business Licence Agreement (ICBL). All Commercial businesses that are physically located in Central Saanich that also carry on business in other municipalities (such as installers) require both commercial and intercommunity licence designation. There are at least 12 municipalities on Vancouver Island that are part of this agreement.
Commercial - Any business other than a Home-Based Business, a Farm-Based Business or a Business for which an Intermunicipal Licence or a Daily Licence is required. All Commercial businesses that are physically located in Central Saanich that also carry on business in other municipalities (such as installers) require both commercial and intermunicipal licence designation. *Please note that any commercial business applications will also require a floor plan showing the layout of the space in relation to the rest of the building.
Farm-Based Business - A farm-related business operating on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve or land classified as farm under the Assessment Act.
Daily - A one-day business licence required for craft fairs, exhibitions or other itinerant shows or entertainment.
Non-Resident - A business (other than a Resident Business) carried on within the Municipality or with respect to which any work or service is performed within the Municipality. For clarity, the office of the business will not be located within the Municipality.
|Home Based||$ 50|
|Small Commercial *||$100|
|Large Commercial **||$200|
* Small Commercial is defined as 464.5 m² (5,000 ft²) or less of gross floor area of buildings used for business. If commercial business works in other districts, a intermunicipal licence is also required.
** Large Commercial is defined as more than 464.5 m² (5,000 ft²) gross floor area of buildings used for business. If commercial business works in other districts, a intermunicipal licence is also required.