Application Process

How to Apply for a Business Licence

Step 1:  Submit Your Application

Submit your filled out business licence application form for processing by mail, email, fax or in-person. You can also contact us directly by phone at (250) 475-5401 with any questions.

You must apply for a business licence with the municipality in which you live or operate your business.

Please note: If you wish to change your Business name, contact information, mailing address, or closing your account please use our Business Licence Change Request Form

Step 2:  Get Required Approvals


The Planning Department will assess if the zoning bylaw allows your business activity at commercial or residential properties. You may want to check with Planning before you buy property or sign a lease to make sure that you can run your type of business there. To contact Planning or call (250) 475-5471. We also recommend that you learn about sign permits.


Are you renovating your place of business, or making alterations to plumbing or electrical? 

You may need building or plumbing permits or approval from Saanich Inspections section to ensure you meet building codes. Common questions include:

  • Do I need a permit? 
  • What is the status of my permit?
  • How do I arrange an inspection?

For answers to these questions and more, please email Inspections or call (250) 475-5458 or visit our Inspections page. 

For electrical and gas permits contact the BC Safety Authority.

To avoid any delays, we recommend you keep in contact with Inspections throughout your approval process. We can only issue a business licence once we get final approvals from all departments.


If you operate out of a commercial space, or if you have clients in your home, you may need a fire inspection.

  • The Fire Department will confirm that you meet British Columbia Fire Codes. 
  • To arrange an inspection, call (250) 475-5500. 
  • See our fire inspection guidelines.
  • Watch a YouTube inspection preparation video clip

Island Health

Step 3:  Await review

We may send your business licence application to some or all of the above departments for approval. If we approve it, we may forward your application to other departments or outside agencies to conform to Provincial and Federal statutes. Typically, these inspections don’t cost you anything.

We can only issue a business licence once we receive all approvals.

Step 4:  Pay for Your Licence

Once we receive all the required approvals and your payment, we’ll issue your business licence.

How Long Does the Application Process Take?

The processing time varies. It depends on how quickly you meet requirements. If you are altering the space, we can’t issue the business licence until the building inspection process is done. We can only issue a business licence once you get final approvals from all required departments.