A General Guide to Obtaining Business Licences
in the City of Vernon
In most municipalities in the North Okanagan, a Business
Licence is required to operate a business within the community.
A business is generally defined as "the carrying on of a commercial
or industrial undertaking of any kind or the providing of professional,
personal or other services for the purpose of profit or gain".
A business licence must be held by the owner or operator of a business,
and in the case of more than one business premise, a separate business
licence is required for each location.
Inter-Community (Mobile) Business Licence
The City of Vernon, along with Armstrong, Coldstream, Enderby, Kelowna, Keremeos, Lake Country, Lumby, Oliver, Osooyos, Peachland, Penticton, Princeton, Regional District of the Central Okanagan, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Spallumcheen, Summerland and District of West Kelowna have formed an agreement to allow contractors and other service providers the opportunity to conduct business in all of these participating jurisdictions under one Inter-Community (Mobile) Business Licence.
here to find out more!
Some organizations or businesses may not be required
to obtain a business licence. For example, residential premises holding
garage or yard sales or agricultural producers who are not conducting
any retail sales from the farm.
Non-profit organizations or charitable organizations
are required to obtain a business licence if they operate from
a premise within the City of Vernon or if they are conducting fund
raising campaigns within the city. No fee is charged to a non-profit
or charitable organization if the organization can provide the
proper Revenue Canada identification.
When opening a business in Vernon, the following
considerations should be made:
A business licence is required to operate a business
within the City of Vernon.
Any development needed for the business location
premises must conform to the Zoning Bylaw, Official Community Plan
and/or Land Use Contracts. Contact us to obtain information or
copies of these documents. We hope to have more of this information
online in the near future.
The application form for a business licence can
be found online and may be filled out online, printed and submitted
by fax at 549-1535.
We will contact you
inspections or additional information be required. Watch for an online application
that may be submitted by e-mail for home based businesses and/or
other simple applications in the near future.
Business Licence Application Form (70Kb PDF)
For anyone intending to operate a "home based
business", please ensure that you have read the home occupation
attachments and that you are able to comply. There are three
different types of home occupations (Major, Minor and Rural).
Your property zoning will determine which type of home occupation
you are eligible for. Please contact our Planning, Development
& Engineering Services Department at 550-3578 to find out how your property
is zoned, and which type of home occupation you are eligible
Based Business, Minor (65Kb PDF)
Home Based Business, Major (132 Kb PDF)
Based Business, Rural (75Kb PDF)
For more information concerning the application
process for permits, licences and zoning please contact the Planning,
Development & Engineering Services Department at City Hall or by phone
When applying for a business licence, these
considerations should be addressed prior to the leasing or purchasing
of property for a business.
Please contact the Planning, Development & Engineering Services Department
staff to ensure that the commercial property is appropriate for
the business you are planning.
Staff will verify that
District in which the property is situated will allow the particular
business type, that appropriate parking is available on site (if
required by Zoning), and they may bring to your attention
any requirements for landscaping etc. The Staff may also advise whether the potential
business location is in a Development Permit or Design regulated
area, such as Downtown Vernon and the 27th Street corridor, so that
you are fully aware of any regulations regarding signage, new
construction or exterior renovations.
Depending on the nature of the business, approvals
from the Fire Inspector, Building Inspector
or the Environmental Health Officer may be necessary prior to
approval of the Business Licence. There are no costs related to
these inspections if associated with a business licence application.
Inspections should be conducted prior to a purchase or lease so
that an applicant will be aware of any costs associated
with requirements under the Fire, Building or Health codes.
General Procedure for Applying for a Business
1. An application form must be completed and submitted
to the City by the owner or operator or by an agent appointed
by the owner of the potential business. Check with our business
licencing staff @ 550-3585, as to the current rates for business
licences in the community or view the Business Licence Bylaw #5480. As of March 13, 2013, there will be a non-refundable application fee for all business licence applications.
2. The potential location will be confirmed as
conforming to the Zoning and Official Community Plan requirements
and any necessary inspections will be arranged.
3. The Inspectors will check the premises and endorse
the application if or when all requirements are met. The Business
Licence Inspector is the final endorsement required.
4. The business licence will be issued upon payment
of the fee and must be displayed in a prominent place on the premises.
For mobile services, a copy of the licence should be carried in
the equipment/vehicle or with the individual, at all times, when
engaging in business activities.
| General Inquiries:
||250-549-1535 or 250-545-7876
Manager, Buildings & Bylaws:
Business Licence Inspector