The business licence program ensures that businesses operating in Burnaby comply with City Bylaws and other regulations. Once a Business Licence application has been received, it is first checked to confirm that the proposed business is located in an appropriate zone. If the zoning is found to be suitable, the application may be then be referred to various other City departments and external agencies to obtain assurance that the business and their premises comply with relevant City Bylaws and other regulations. Depending on the type of business referrals can be sent to the Building Department, the Fire Department, and the Fraser Health Association among others. Non-compliance with a bylaw or regulation can result in the denial of a Business Licence.
Prior to entering into purchase of lease agreements for a business location, you are encouraged to contact the Licence Office to verify your compliance 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 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.
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
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.
Completed application can be dropped off directly to the Burnaby Licence Office or sent via mail or fax. Where applications are received electronically, by fax or by mail, Licence Office staff will contact you regarding your application once it has been received.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
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 subject to a $50 additional fee at 30, 90 and 150 days after the due date.