Types of Business Licences

The City of Fort St. John offers four (4) different types of business licences, dependent upon your type of business and where it is located. 

1.Regular Commerical Business Licence

A regular commercial business licence is for all businesses operating in a commercial or industrial area within the City. 

Some commercial properties within the City are in Development Permit Areas so you may require a a Development Permit prior to doing any new construction or exterior renovations. We recommend you contact the Planning & Engineering Department for more information. 

To apply for a Regular Commercial Business Licence click here [PDF - 156 KB].

2. Inter-community Business Licence

If your commercial or industrial business has a mobile component, e.g. you travel to other communities to work, but your main office is located in one of the member municipalities, you may be eligible for an inter-community business licence. 

This inter-community business licence is to be purchased IN ADDITION to a regular Fort St. John business licence and will permit your business to operate in the following communities:

  • City of Dawson Creek
  • District of Chetwynd
  • District of Hudson's Hope
  • District of Taylor
  • District of Tumbler Ridge
  • Village of Pouce Coupe


To apply for an inter-community business licence click here [PDF - 156 KB].

3. Home Occupations Business Licence

Are you thinking about opening a business in your home? A home occupations business licence is required for all businesses that operate within a residence within the City. 

The City’s Zoning Bylaw restricts the type of business activities that are allowed to operate in a residential neighbourhood, limits the size of the area used for business purposes, and regulates parking and storage impacts. 

First and foremost, check with the Planning & Engineering Department ensure that the business is acceptable for a home occupation. Since commercial activities are not usually allowed in residential areas, it is important that a home business does not disturb the residential character of an area. The ideal test of a home business is whether the neighbours would be aware of its existence. Some factors that can draw attention to a home business include the following:

  • Advertising or signage on the property
  • Noise, dust, smell or smoke generated by the home business
  • Delivery or collection of products
  • Parking on adjacent streets or lanes
  • Employees who are not residents of the dwelling
  • Storage of equipment or materials in the open

We suggest you check the regulations within our Zoning Bylaw [PDF - 31 MB]  or contact the Planning & Engineering Department to find out if your business is permitted. 

To apply for a Home Based Buisness Licence click here. [PDF - 326 KB]

4. Merchant Sidewalk Sales Business Licence

If you have a business in the City and want to host a sidewalk sale in front of your business, you must have a Merchant Sidewalk Sales Buisness Licence. 

Per the City of Fort St. John Business Licence Bylaw [PDF - 15 MB]  a business owner may apply for a permit to conduct a sidewalk sale if: 

(a) they operate only in the area directly in front of their licenced Business premises;

(b) they keep areas clean with a clear 1.2 metre (4 foot) pedestrian path;

(c) displaying products after dark the area shall use electric lighting which will not produce glare to motorists;

(d) they neither create, nor cause a fire hazard, or traffic congestion;

(e) no noise or sound making equipment is used which would create a nuisance of disturbance.


To apply for a Merchant Sidewalk Sale Business Licence, click here. [PDF - 202 KB]