Licences

A photograph of espresso machine, glass blowing workshop and a breakfast table

Effective January 1, 2019, all businesses operating on Bowen Island will need a business licence. This applies to commercial, home-based, non-profit and contractor businesses. This also applies to off-island businesses that are coming into the community to perform work.

There will be a transition period in early 2019 while the business licensing program is being set up. Municipal staff will begin accepting applications in January 2019.

Please subscribe to receive updates about the business licensing program.

A business licensing program ensures that the Municipality’s land use regulations, building and fire codes and other community health and safety requirements are followed by local businesses. It also assists in collecting important statistics about local businesses to help understand trends that impact municipal policy decisions. It will help the Municipality better understand the economy of Bowen Island, allowing for better planning, and enabling support for Bowen Island businesses.

Types of businesses that need a licence

  • Commercial businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, retail stores and farm stores
  • Bed & Breakfast accommodations
  • Home-based businesses such as hair salons, accountants and craftsperson workshops (note, there are different fees for home-based businesses, depending on whether the business has hours open to the public)
  • Contractors
  • Non-profit organizations (no fee required)
  • Off-island businesses that are performing work on Bowen Island

Types of businesses that do not need a licence

  • Yard or garage sales
  • Buskers or street entertainers
  • Vendors selling goods at a farmer’s market or craft fair that is already licensed
  • Off-island businesses that are delivering or selling goods to merchants who are reselling the goods on Bowen Island
  • Rental properties subject to the Residential Tenancy Act

Please review Business Licence Bylaw No. 465, 2018 for the definitions of businesses that do and do not require a licence.

Not sure if your business requires a licence? Please contact us.

The information on this page is a simplified guide to the business licensing program. Please review Business Licence Bylaw No. 465, 2018 for more detail about the regulations.

Business licence fees

A simple and nominal fee structure ensures that businesses of all kinds and income levels are able to comply without hardship.

Category Fee
Bed & Breakfast $100
Commercial $125
Commercial Guest Accommodation $100
Contractor $100
Guest House $100
Home-Based Business with Public Access $100
Home-Based Business without Public Access $25
Non-Profit Organization $0
Non-Resident Business $100

Not sure what category applies to your business? Please contact us.

Background

In most municipalities, business licences are considered a routine part of municipal operations. Of the 162 municipalities in British Columbia, Bowen Island was one of the two in Metro Vancouver that did not require business licences.

A business licensing program ensures that the Municipality’s land use regulations, building and fire codes and other community health and safety requirements are followed by local businesses. It also assists in collecting important statistics about local businesses to help understand trends that impact municipal policy decisions. It will help the Municipality better understand the economy of Bowen Island, allowing for better planning, and enabling support for Bowen Island businesses.

In 2016, Council directed the Economic Development Committee (EDC) to conduct a study to determine whether business licensing would be feasible on Bowen Island. The EDC established a task force, which undertook a number of activities including:

  • Consulting with local businesses at the EDC Business Summit (October 2016)
  • Conducting an online survey of local contractors
  • Reviewing business licensing programs of 16 comparator communities
  • Interviewing and consulting with staff in other municipalities and Metro Vancouver
  • Consulting with various inspection agencies

In 2017, the task force submitted a report to Council, recommending that implementation of a business licensing program be included as a strategic priority related to economic development in Island Plan 2018.

Read the Business Licensing Feasibility Report, dated November 17, 2017

Council asked staff to review the report and return with an analysis of the recommendations, and identified business licensing as a priority in the Island Plan.

In 2018, staff reported back to Council with a detailed analysis of the recommendations, including a proposed business licensing bylaw and a proposed implementation schedule.

Staff Report: July 13, 2018

Open House Display Boards: September 13, 2018

Communication Plan

Staff Report: September 24, 2018

Staff Report: October 1, 2018

The Business Licence Bylaw No. 465, 2018 was adopted on October 9, 2018, and will take effect on January 1, 2019.

There will be a transition period in early 2019 while the business licensing program is being set up. Municipal staff will begin accepting applications in January 2019.

During this time, staff will also be developing an online business directory that will be available for the public to find businesses on Bowen Island, and an online platform that will make applying and paying for business licences as simple as possible for businesses.

Last Updated on 2018-11-08 at 11:03 AM

  • Questions?

    Please contact Daniel Martin, Manager of Planning & Development

    604-947-4255

    dmartin@bimbc.ca