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Business Licences

Welcome to Sidney!

This page provides you information on obtaining a Business Licence.

The Town's Business Licence Bylaw requires that all businesses operating within the Town hold a valid Business Licence, either from the Town or an Intermunicipal Business Licence issued from another municipality.

If you are planning to begin business operations in the Town, here is what we will require prior to the issuance of a Business Licence.

Business Licence Application:

Please complete the Business Licence Application Form.  Completed applications may be dropped off in person, emailed, faxed or mailed in.

Alternatively, you may wish to use the One Stop Business Registry.  Once you complete the registration process through One Stop, a completed Business Licence application will be emailed to the Town.  Once received, staff will contact you to finalize your Business Licence application details.

Inspection:

The Town's Business Licence and Fire Inspectors will complete an inspection of the business premises, which can be arranged at your convenience.  They will be inspecting for health and safety related items to ensure the premises are safe for you and your customers.  A 5lb ABC fire extinguisher is required for all commercial business locations.

Typically, there is no inspection for a home based business unless the business activities include having clients to the home.

To arrange for an inspection, please email or call 250-656-1725.

If you will be undertaking tenant improvements to accommodate your business activities, please contact us by email or call 250-656-1725 to discuss whether or not you will require a Building or Plumbing Permit.  Improvements like paint and carpet do not require a permit, but any structural or plumbing changes will require a permit.

Licence Fee:

The fee for a Business Licence is outlined in the Business Licence Bylaw.  Generally, the annual fee for a Business Licence is $100.00 and is based on a calendar year.  The Licence fee must be paid prior to the issuance of the Business Licence.

The Town accepts debit, cash, cheque or credit card.  Licence fees may be paid online by credit card.  In order to pay online, you must submit your application to the Town first.  Once staff setup your application in our system, we can email you the information to pay online.  There is also a drop box at the Town Hall for after hour payments.  You may also submit your application along with payment if you would prefer.

Licence fees are prorated quarterly for new applications received during a calendar year.

Business Licence fees paid are non refundable.

Island Health Approval:

You will need to contact Island Health if your business activities:

  • involve food (either pre-packaged or prepared for immediate consumption); or
  • are a personal service establishment (such as a beauty salon, tanning salon, tattoos, piercings, etc..); or
  • are a daycare or childcare facility;

We will need Island Health approval prior to the issuance of the Business Licence.

For businesses that involve food or are a personal service establishment, the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) for the Town of Sidney is:

Contact: Richard Greve, Environmental Health Officer
Phone: 250-519-3401
Fax: 250-519-3402
Email
Website

When an application is received that would require Island Health (IH) approval, Town staff initiate a referral to IH to advise of the application.  The EHO will sign off on the Town's referral once their requirements have been met which the Town accepts as approval.  Alternatively, a copy of the EHO's Inspection Report approving the business operations can also be accepted.

For daycare or childcare facilities please contact 250-519-3401.

Island Health notifies the Town once a Licence has been issued or changed for a daycare or childcare facility.

You do not require Island Health approval before you submit your Business Licence application, but staff will not issue your Business Licence until IH Approval has been granted.  

Floor Plan:

If your business is a café or restaurant we will require a floor plan showing the tables and chairs, so that we can confirm the amount of seats.  Our Licence Inspector can assist in determining the permitted number of seats.  The number of seats will be based on the occupant load permitted by the BC Building Code, more specifically, it will be a calculation based on either the physical size of the space, the number of washrooms or exits.

Additional Information Requirements:

Additional information may be required to confirm compliance with the Town's bylaws prior to the issuance of the Business Licence.

Additional Information of Importance:

Zoning:

As part of the application review, staff will confirm that the proposed business activities and its location comply with the Town's Zoning Bylaw.  

Some permitted uses in the Town's Zoning Bylaw, such as home occupations, have conditional use regulations that staff may discuss with you.

It is strongly encouraged that you check with the Town to confirm that your proposed business activities comply with the Town's Zoning Bylaw before you commit to a lease arrangement.

Staff are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Zoning.  Please email or call 250-656-1725.

Signs:

The Town has a Sign Bylaw which regulates the size, number, and types of permitted signs but a Sign Permit is no longer required.  We encourage you to review or ensure the company that is designing your signage has reviewed the regulations in the Sign Bylaw to ensure that the proposed signs comply with the Sign Bylaw.

If you have any questions regarding the Sign Bylaw please email or call 250-656-1725.

You can email the proposed rendering of the sign design, along with its location and dimensions to Town staff to confirm that the proposed signage complies with the Sign Bylaw.

We understand that every business would like to use signage to advertise their business but it is expected that businesses will comply with the Sign Bylaw regulations.  

Sidewalk Café Licence:

Please note that a Sidewalk Cafe Licence is also required if you intend on establishing a Sidewalk Café. 

Sidewalk Café Bylaw
Sidewalk Cafe Application Form

These Licences are issued by the Engineering Department and they can be reached by email or call 250-656-4502.

Issuance of a Business Licence:

Obtaining a Business Licence is generally a quick and easy process.  The timing depends on the complexity of your application.  Most often home occupation Business Licences can be issued same day.

Business Licences for commercial business uses can be issued once all the requirements have been met:

  • Completed and submitted Business Licence Application Form
  • Completed Inspection
  • Licence fee paid
  • Island Health approval, if required
  • Floor Plan, if required
  • Additional information, if required

Staff will work with you on the required items and can issue the Business Licence once all requirements have been met.