Business Licence FAQs
- Do I require a Business Licence?
- Why does the City of Courtenay require Business Licences?
- Are there consequences for operating a business without a valid Business Licence in Courtenay?
- Can I operate a business from my residence?
- What are the fees for a Business Licence?
- How do I obtain a Business Licence?
- How long does it take to get a Business Licence?
- How long is a Business Licence valid?
- How do I renew my Business Licence?
- If my business is no longer operating, what do I do?
- If I change my business location, what do I need to do?
- Does my commercial vehicle require an additional permit?
- What are the regulations and guidelines for Retail Cannabis?
Do I require a Business Licence?
If you carry out business within the City of Courtenay municipal boundaries, you are required to have a valid City of Courtenay Business Licence. See Business Licence Bylaw No. 2523. [PDF - 1.3 MB]
Why does the City of Courtenay require Business Licences?
The primary purpose for the requirement of a Business Licence is to ensure that the City's municipal land use regulations, building and fire codes, health regulations, and all other relevant community safety requirements are adhered to by businesses.
Are there consequences for operating a business without a valid Business Licence in Courtenay?
Yes, you could be subject to fines of $500.00 per day.
Can I operate a business from my residence?
Yes, certain types of businesses are permitted to operate from your home, with some restrictions, pursuant to Zoning Bylaw No. 2500, 2007 [PDF - 4.8 MB]. In order to minimize disturbances to surrounding residential properties. Zoning restricts the type of business activities, the size of area used, parking requirements, and storage impacts. Retail use and personal service uses are specifically excluded as home-based businesses.
What are the fees for a Business Licence?
Business Licence fees are defined in Schedule 'A' of Business Licence Bylaw No. 2523 [PDF - 38 KB]. The fee to participate in the Inter-Community Business Licence (ICBL) Program is an additional $150.00 annually, allowing a mobile business to conduct business in any of the 12 participating municipalities.
How do I obtain a Business Licence?
A Business Licence application form is available in person from the Building Division, located at 830 Cliffe Avenue, or one can be obtained online on our website.
How long does it take to get a Business Licence?
The processing time for a Business Licence application varies based on the type of licence and approvals required. Typically, a standard Business Licence is issued within seven to ten working days, but may take longer depending on the nature of the business activity. Business Licence Staff will review your application, ensure it is complete, forward it to the appropriate agencies for the necessary approvals, and can advise you of the status of your application at any time during the process. Upon receipt of the required approvals, Business Licence Staff will approve and issue the Business Licence, sending it to you by mail.
How long is a Business Licence valid?
Business Licences are issued for a calendar year - January 1 to December 31.
How do I renew my Business Licence?
If you have an active Business Licence, a renewal notice will automatically be sent in the mail during the month of December and is required to be paid prior to March 1. Payments can be made in person, at the City of Courtenay or by mail with a cheque. The forms of payment currently accepted at the City of Courtenay are cash, cheque or debit.
If my business is no longer operating, what do I do?
You must inform the Business Licence Department by phone or in writing by mail or email to email@example.com to advise that you are no longer operating; otherwise, you will continue to receive renewal notices and show outstanding fees.
If I change my business location, what do I need to do?
You must first apply for a change of location with the Business Licence Department. This process ensures that the new location meets building and zoning requirements.
Does my commercial vehicle require an additional permit?
Yes, all vehicles used by a person on a highway within the City of Courtenay boundaries, which is a commercial vehicle defined by, and licences under the Commercial Transport Act; or a vehicle not so licenced that is used for the collection, delivery, or both, of merchandise or other commodity in the ordinary course of a business undertaking, require a Commercial Vehicle Licence Decal. Commercial Vehicle Licence Decals can be purchased from the Finance Department, located on the first floor of the City of Courtenay, 830 Cliffe Avenue. The required fees are based on the gross vehicle weight (GVW). You will be required to bring in the vehicle's registration at the time of obtaining a decal. Telephone enquiries can be directed to (250) 334-4441.
What are the regulations and guidelines for Retail Cannabis?
The first step is to apply to the Provincial Government. They will review your application for a store and then forward it to the City of Courtenay to respond once they have determined whether your application submissions meets their criteria. Please visit the Province of British Columbia Cannabis Regulation webpage.
Once the application from the province is received by the City, then you would be required to rezone any property where the retail store would be located. Please visit the City of Courtenay Recreational Cannabis webpage.
Stores should only be considered if they meet the School and Playground Buffers [PDF - 6 MB].