Starting a business can be a stressful time, as many issues need to be addressed. The City of Fort St. John understands this, and supports and encourages new businesses. In addition, the City must also look after the health, safety and liability of the public. We hope that by explaining some of the issues and concerns in advance, we will be able to help you understand the process of applying for a business licence and be able to process your application quickly.
Any person owning or operating a business within the City of Fort St. John must obtain an annual Business Licence which is to be prominently displayed in their place of business. This applies to all retail and commercial establishments, management and professional firms, home businesses, bed and breakfasts, secondary suite rentals and taxi cab companies. Fees vary according to the business category from $50.00 minimum up to a maximum of $2,000.00.
You may apply by completing a business licence application form, available at City Hall, on the website, or at OneStop (BC Business Registry). Once the application is received you will be contacted by City Staff who will set up a date and time for the building inspection and forward the information to the City of Fort St. John Fire Department and to the Northern Health Authority as needed. The Fire Department and the Northern Health Authority will contact applicants directly to ensure that their inspections are conducted in a timely manner.
An application for a business licence takes approximately 7 to 10 business days. If fire and/or health approvals are required, the process may take longer. Each separate business location must be licensed individually. Payment for a business licence is required at the time of approval. Payment may be made by cash, cheque, Visa, MasterCard or Interac.
Application approval is based on the location you intend to operate from, the zoning for that location and any applicable building, fire and health regulations.
A business that is transferring their location is required to complete a new application or Schedule A or Schedule B,as per the City of Fort St. John Business Licence Bylaw in order to provide accurate and updated information. A $40.00 administration fee is charged for business moves. A new licence will be issued once the application has been reviewed and applicable inspections are conducted and approved.
A business may transfer a licence as a change of ownership, provided that we receive a letter from the seller of the business. Change of a company’s name or mailing address is processed without any charge.
In the event that a business decides to close, a written letter stating when the business closed, the date and the licensees’ signatures is required before the business account can be closed. A pro-rated reimbursed may be requested at that time. Telephone calls are not an acceptable notice of closure.
If a company is registered as a Limited or Incorporated Company, the registration number provided by the province is required.