Choosing an Appropriate Location for a Business

Before choosing  a specific location for a business, it is important to ensure the location complies with the Town’s zoning and bylaw regulations, as well as the BC Building Code.

As part of the application review, staff will confirm that the proposed business activities comply with the Town’s Business Licence Bylaw.

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 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 of Sidney to confirm that your proposed business activities comply with the Zoning Bylaw before you commit to a lease or purchase arrangement. You can contact Town staff by email at or by phone at 250-656-1725.

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 contact us by email at or call 250-656-1725.

If you will be undertaking tenant improvements to accommodate your business activities, please contact us by email at or call 250-656-1725 to discuss whether or not you will require a Building or Plumbing Permit.

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.

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

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

Xiao Qi Ren, Environmental Health Officer
Phone: 250-519-3401
Fax: 250-519-3402
Website: Island Health – Victoria Region


If your business is a cafe or restaurant, we will require a floor plan showing the tables and chairs so that we can confirm the number 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, or the number of washrooms or exits.

For questions, please contact us by email at or by phone at 250-656-1725.