The licence program ensures that businesses and their premises comply with relevant City Bylaws. For resident businesses, this initially involves compliance with the property use requirements of the Zoning Bylaw.
Contact the Licence Office to verify your compliance with the Zoning Bylaw prior to entering into purchase or lease agreements for a business location.
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 for the purpose of profit or gain. 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.
Getting Your Business Licence
Which Business Licence Do I Need?There are generally two types of business licence. These can be further categorized to identify your business:
- Resident businesses
- Permanent location in Burnaby
- Operate from offices, retail locations, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, residencies
- Non-resident businesses
- Temporarily operating in Burnaby
- Includes building trades contractors
- Includes mobile businesses with no fixed location in Burnaby
Below is the application for a Business Licence. You might also want to visit our Home Based Business Licence page for information, fees, and forms.
These can be dropped off directly to the Burnaby Licence Office. Where applications are received electronically, by fax or by mail, Licence Office staff will contact you regarding your application.
- Business Licence Application forms may be printed, completed in full and forwarded to the Licence Office with the applicable fees using the Credit Card Payment form. 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.
- One Stop Business Registration (OSBR) also provides time-saving service for business licence applications, in addition to other government registrations for business. Licence Office staff will be in contact with applicants who submit their applications in this way
Completing the Application Process
To complete the application process, a City employee will arrange to meet you at your business residence to review all bylaw requirements and ensure their compliance prior to issuance of a business licence.
The first year fee for a business licence is generally higher than the fee for renewal licences. This reflects administration and inspection costs incurred during the business licence application process.
Business licences are renewed annually on January 1 through renewal invoices mailed out in early December. Business licence fees may be paid by cash, cheque, Interac or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) using the Credit Card Payment form. 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. Fees vary depending on the type of business and the City services involved in the licencing process. Non-payment and late payment of business licence fees are bylaw violations and subject to a $50 additional fee at 30, 90 and 150 days after the due date.