Business Licenses

  • Did you know the District of Sooke processes over 850 business licenses each year?

Be sure to renew or apply for your business license every year!

All businesses in Sooke require a current license to operate. This requirement applies to home-based businesses, commercial and industrial operations and owners of apartment rental properties.

Business Licensing is mandated to promote safe and legitimate business premises and operations within the District of Sooke. Staff provide initial advice for new businesses, process business licence applications within the context of the District’s regulatory requirements and maintain an up-to-date database on existing businesses.

NEW!!  Online payment is available using our online payment portal. To renew online:

  1. Go to our online payment portal.
  2. Enter your account number and access code found at the top of the BUSINESS RENEWAL notice. Select “search.”
    • Note: Businesses should receive renewal notices in the mail by Friday, December 16, 2022.
  3. Choose your business and use your credit card to process payment.

Do you want to know if the contractor you hired has a valid business license?

Call the municipal office and our friendly staff will advise if the business is currently licensed, or view a list of current Business License holders here: Active Business Licences as of May 2022. Please note: this listing is provided for reference purposes only and is not updated consistently. Please contact the Business License Inspector at the District of Sooke municipal hall if you have any inquiries regarding this listing.


Types of Business Licences

The fee structure in the District of Sooke is based on the type of business. For certain types of businesses, the rate is further determined by additional criteria, such as the premise size. To determine the correct fee for your business, contact the municipal hall. Fees are payable when the business licence application is submitted to the District of Sooke. A Building and/or Fire Inspector may visit your place of business.

The District of Sooke can issue the following Licence Types, depending on the municipalities in which you work.

Intermunicipal Business Licences are valid in these municipalities:

City of Colwood City of Langford City of Victoria
District of Central Saanich District of North Saanich District of Oak Bay
District of Saanich Township of Esquimalt District of Metchosin
District of Sooke District of the Highlands Town of Sidney
Town of View Royal

The following municipalities participate in the Inter-Community Business Licence Agreement.

City of Duncan Town of Ladysmith Town of Lake Cowichan
Municipality of North Cowichan City of Courtenay Town of Comox
City of Campbell River City of Port Alberni Town of Qualicum Beach
Village of Cumberland City of Nanaimo City of Parksville
City of Colwood City of Victoria District of Central Saanich
District of North Saanich District of Saanich Township of Esquimalt
District of Sooke Town of View Royal

Starting a New Business

For information on the process of starting a new business, expanding or moving a business please visit the BC Business Registry.

Other considerations:

Zoning

Prior to applying for a Business Licence, you will need to select a location. Zoning regulations vary in different areas of Sooke and can affect the type of business that you are allowed to operate. Use the zoning layer in our land use map to under the zone of a particular property and refer to the Zoning Bylaw to understand permitted uses.

Related Paperwork

Depending on the type of business, there are a number of supporting documents that are required when submitting a Business Licence application, including:

  • Professional certificates (if applicable)
  • Proof of incorporation and Notice of Articles (if applicable)
  • Health inspection certificate (if applicable – for more information contact Island Health (Vancouver Island Health Authority): http://www.viha.ca/
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (if applicable)

Apply for your license:

Payment must be received at the time of application.

Note:

  • a floor plan of the space utilized for business purposes will be required at the time of application submission.
  • If you do not own the property where your business is located, you will be required to have the owner complete an Owner’s Authorization form, found here.

Further questions? Contact the Licence Inspector at 250.642.1634.

Approval process

A Business Licence application takes approximately 10 working days to process, as a number of District of Sooke services may need to review and approve an application before a Business Licence can be issued.
Approval is also required when the use of a business premise is changed, a property is developed, or building additions are undertaken, in order to ensure compliance with bylaws and regulations.
The Capital Regional District, and Provincial and Federal governments may also have additional requirements that must be met before a business can legally operate.
We will do our best to process your application as timely as possible. Applications submitted in full and with all required documentation assist with the efficiency of this process.