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Business Licences

Save Time, Pay Online!

Pay business licence fees through your financial institution, online by credit card or mail in cheque payment with the invoice stub. Learn more »

The business licence program ensures that businesses operating in Burnaby comply with City Bylaws and other regulations.

When an application for a new Business Licence is submitted, staff will first confirm that the proposed business is located within an appropriately zoned property and that there are no outstanding building permits registered on the proposed business location.

After confirming zoning and permit requirements have been met, new applications are then referred to various other City departments and external agencies to obtain assurance that the business and the premises comply with relevant City Bylaws and any other required regulations. Depending on the type of business, referrals can be sent to the Building Department, the Fire Department, and the Fraser Health Authority, among others. Non-compliance with a bylaw or regulation can result in the denial of a Business Licence.

Prior to entering into purchase or lease agreements for a business location, you are encouraged to contact the Licence Office to verify the intended use of the property complies with the Burnaby Zoning Bylaw. All prospective businesses should also determine whether the proposed location complies with City Bylaws or whether corrective work is necessary in order to bring the location into compliance. This may entail the engagement of licensed professionals to undertake an assessment. The Building Department is available to support you in your assessment.

Who needs a Business Licence?

All businesses in Burnaby require a valid business licence. Business is defined as carrying on any commercial or industrial undertaking, or providing professional, personal or other services. Not for profit organizations are also required to obtain a licence, however, these businesses pay a reduced fee. New or temporary businesses, and those that have changed location, changed ownership, or opened a new location, all require a new licence to operate in the City.

Burnaby City Hall

Getting Your Business Licence

Which Business Licence Do I Need?

There are generally three types of business licence. These can be further categorized to identify your business:

  1. Resident businesses
    • Permanent location in Burnaby
    • Operate from offices, retail locations, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, residencies
  2. Non-resident businesses
    • Temporarily operating in Burnaby
    • Includes building trades contractors
    • Includes mobile businesses with no fixed location in Burnaby
  3. Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL)

You might also want to visit our Home Based Business Licence page for information, fees, and forms on businesses that are permitted to operate from residential properties.


Effective January 1, 2020 a House Rental Business Licence is required for all single- and two-family homes (with or without a suite) that are rented and not occupied by the property owner.

Applications can be completed online at the link below. Licence Office staff will contact you regarding your application once it has been received and reviewed. 

Once the Licence Office has reviewed your application for completeness, you will be contacted and advised of the applicable fee. Fees are payable by cash, cheque, Interac or you can now pay online by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express). Per the City of Burnaby Fee Recovery Bylaw 13640; for payments made by credit card a fee of 1.75% will be charged at the time of the transaction to recover the costs the City of Burnaby pays for accepting credit cards as payment.

For more information on application and fees, please contact the Licence Office at 604-294-7320 or by email at


The first year fee for a business licence is higher than the fee for renewal licences due to the higher resourcing costs that are incurred by the City during the initial licencing year. A non-refundable $50 fee is also required for all business licence applications in order to recover additional administration processing costs. View fees »

Business licences are renewed annually by January 1 through renewal invoices mailed out in early November with a reminder sent in December. Renewal fees are payable by cash, cheque, Interac or you can now pay online by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express).

Fees vary depending on the type of business and the City services involved in the licencing process. Fees paid by credit card are subject to a 1.75% recovery fee. Non-payment and late payment of business licence fees are bylaw violations and are subject to a $50 additional fee as of January 1. Incomplete or non-payment will result in the expiration of the business licence.

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