The Resort Municipality of Whistler is currently studying a potential new well supply source located along the Valley Trail (between Rainbow Park and Lorimer Road). Read more.
Through a partnership with the OneStop Business Registry, the municipality is able to offer business licence applications through the OneStop Business Registration e-service.
This means that you can apply for a Whistler business licence at the same time as you are choosing to complete other business registrations with federal or provincial public sector agencies, in one place, at one time.
The OneStop Business Registry is a public-sector partnership offering integrated Business Registration and Business Address Change services based on the Business Number. The Business Registration service enables a business to register with multiple federal and provincial public sector agencies and local governments in one step.
The Business Address Change service enables a business to notify multiple federal and provincial public sector agencies and local governments of an address change in one step. Business registration and address change accounts include but are not limited to HST, sole proprietorships, general partnerships, WorkSafeBC (WCB) Employers’ Registration, and municipal business licence applications.
Services are Available
- Through a single Internet site open 24 x 7 x 365, www.bcbusinessregistry.ca
- A telephone service offered through the Surrey Board of Trade
- Through 100+ locations across British Columbia
- One-Stop Help Desk services are available Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Pacific Time.
Obtaining a Business License in Whistler
Business licences are required to operate any business in Whistler. They are annual, renewable at the start of each calendar year and cost $165 or more. Licences must be clearly displayed in your business.
According to Business Licence Bylaw "no person shall carry on, within the municipality, any business unless he is the holder of a valid Licence issued to him under this bylaw by the Licence Inspector”. Business is defined as "a commercial or industrial undertaking of any kind or nature or the providing of professional, personal or other services for the purpose of gain or profit.
Persons and/or companies are thus deemed to be carrying on a business if they are involved in any of
the following activities:
- Buying, selling, bartering, renting, or displaying any commodity for profit or gain;
- Advertising a business;
- Rendering or offering to render professional, personal, contractual, or other service for profit or gain;
If your business is located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, your business licence must be posted on the premises in a conspicuous place at all times. For businesses with more than one location within municipal boundaries, a separate licence is required for each location. If you are a non-resident, you must carry a licence while conducting business within municipal boundaries.
- Restaurant - $2 per person based on occupant load
- Bar, Pub, Lounge or Cabaret - $5 per person based on occupant load
- Vending Machines - $28/machine to a maximum of $420
- Bank or Credit Union - $308
- Hotel, Inn, Lodge or Pension - $10 per room
- All other classifications - $165
- Minimum fee for all licenses - $165
- Maximum fee for all licenses unless otherwise stated - $1,400
Applying for a Licence
Complete a Business Licence Application form available online or at municipal hall. We encourage all applicants to submit applications via email –firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 604 935 8289.
If your business will be occupying a commercial space in Whistler, please provide a copy of the lease that states the civic and legal address of the building and a copy of the key / building plan showing the actual space being occupied.
Assistance in completing the application can be obtained on this site or if you have questions please email us at email@example.com.
Business Licence Applications go through a referral process to our Bylaw, Planning (zoning), Building & Fire Departments.
If any structural / building changes are planned, a Building Permit is required; contact the Building Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign Permits are required for any signage for the business. Contact us at email@example.com.
The procedure for processing a business licence application depends upon the type of operation being proposed. Approvals generally take about 5 business days for non-resident (out-of-town) businesses or home occupation businesses. The approval time for commercial based businesses can vary greatly depending on a number of factors; i.e. 10 – 20 days to 6 to 8 weeks. We encourage applicants to ensure that they allow ample time to meet the business licence requirements prior to their anticipated opening date.
Required Reviews & Approvals
- Property Use and Building – Review for compliance with Building, Plumbing, Zoning, Land Use Contract and Development Permit regulations and any outstanding orders against the property.
- Fire Department – Review of fire safety requirements and any outstanding orders against the property.
- Provincial Motor Dealing - is required if buying, selling or wrecking automobiles.
- Provincial Motor Carrier Licensing - is required for taxi companies and limousine services.
- Provincial and/or Municipal Waste Management review is required if liquid or solid wastes are produced in certain circumstances.
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Approval is required for any business that involves the production or distribution of food. This includes operations that are temporary or provide food for free. For information on requirements for food establishments, visit http://www.vch.ca/environmental/licensing/. Download the Health Unit Application here.
- Businesses serving liquor require approval from the Liquor Licensing Board www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/branch/index.htm.
Vancouver Coastal Health approval is also required for
- Businesses with swimming pools/spas/hot tubs/whirlpools and waterslides;
- Businesses with on-site sewage disposal;
- Personal service businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, sun tanning salons, massage salons, estheticians, acupuncturists, etc;
- Any business that sells tobacco and tobacco products, including vending machines.
If further information is required, please contact the Public Health Inspector at (604) 932-3202.The office location is at the Vancouver Coastal Health, Suite 202-4380 Lorimer Road, Whistler.
If, for any reason, the business, lands and/or premises do not conform to the applicable statutes, regulations, codes, bylaws and standards, the applicant will be advised promptly of the deficiencies. The applicant will be required to correct the deficiencies before the Business Licence is issued. It is not possible to issue a Business Licence until the business complies with the bylaws of the municipality and other regulatory agencies.
Business operating from residential locations within Resort Municipality of Whistler boundaries must follow the Home Occupation Use guidelines set out in Section 5 of Zoning and Parking Bylaw 303, 1983.
What can I do if I am refused a license?
If for any reason the Business Licence is denied, staff will assist the applicant in assessing viable options to facilitate the start-up of the business operation in accordance with the applicable regulations.
What if my business moves or I sell my business?
The Business Licence application form must be completed and approved:
- When the operating or legal name of a business changes;
- Prior to a new owner taking over the operation of an existing business; and,
- Prior to changing the location of a business within municipal boundaries.
- The approval process is the same as that noted above. However, there is no charge for change of name/change of address/change of owner applications.
What are some of municipal bylaws I may need to know about?
The following is a summary of the municipal bylaws that may affect the operation of your business. Please read the following carefully. This is not a complete list.
Business Licence Bylaw No. 739, 1989 may contain information that more directly relates to your business.
Zoning Bylaw No. 303, 1983 provides for home occupation business use in residential zones; however, a Business Licence issued under this provision is subject to the following:
- Alterations are not made to any building in a residential zone to indicate it is being used for any purpose other than its principal use;
- No person who does not normally occupy the dwelling unit is engaged in home occupation use on the premises;
- No products or materials are stored outside of a principal building and auxiliary building; and
- No products or materials are sold from a home occupation use, which is located in a Residential zone.
Anti-Litter Bylaw No. 218, 1981 states:
To prevent litter, no person shall post, exhibit or distribute placards, play bills, posters or any form of advertising to or on any vehicle that is parked or stopped on or adjacent to a highway or public place without the consent of the owner of the vehicle.
Parking and Traffic Bylaw No. 1512, 2001 states:
(Commercial parking regulations within municipal boundaries.)
"Commercial parking decal" means a decal provided by the municipality for the purpose of identifying commercial vehicles, which are not identified as such under the Commercial Transport Act:
Commercial vehicle includes:
- Every vehicle defined as a commercial vehicle in Section 1 of the Commercial Transport Act; every vehicle used for the collection, delivery or transportation of goods or passengers in the course of a business;
- Every tradesperson’s vehicle and every other vehicle, which displays a commercial parking decal issued under Section 13(b) of this bylaw.
- "Loading zone" means that portion of a highway designated as such by a traffic control device and reserved for the exclusive use of loading or unloading of commercial vehicles.
- "Tradesperson’s vehicle" means any vehicle, the owner or operator of which holds a valid business Licence in the municipality as a tradesperson, and which displays a valid commercial parking decal.
(a) Commercial vehicles may be parked for a maximum of thirty (30) minutes in an area designated as a "loading zone", while the operator of the vehicle is engaged in loading or unloading materials, provided that the vehicle is moved immediately at the request of a Bylaw Enforcement Officer or a Parking Enforcement Officer.
(b) Despite paragraph (a), no owner or operator of a commercial vehicle that is not licenced under the Commercial Transport Act shall park in an area designated as a "loading zone" without first obtaining a commercial parking decal from the municipality by providing proof of a valid commercial use vehicle insurance policy and proof of a valid municipal Business Licence and paying a $30 processing fee.
(c) A commercial parking decal shall be displayed on the windshield of each commercial vehicle that is not Licenced under the Commercial Transport Act, at all times.
Noise Control Bylaw No. 1660, 2004 States:
(Regulates the making or causing of noise within municipal boundaries. The following excerpts apply to construction noise. (For the complete bylaw, please contact the Bylaw Department at 604-935-8280)
(f) any noise or sounds made by the operation of any machinery or equipment between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. in an area zoned to permit residential uses under the Resort Municipality's zoning bylaw and between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. in an area zoned to permit industrial uses under the Resort Municipality's zoning bylaw.
(g) Any noise or sounds made in the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair or demolition ("Construction Noises") of any building, structure, or thing, including the excavation or filling of land, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. in an area zoned to permit residential uses under the Resort Municipality's zoning bylaw and between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. in an area zoned to permit industrial uses under the Resort Municipality's zoning bylaw.
How can I find out more?
For information related to your specific application and the time it will take to process your application, please call the Business Licence hotline at (604) 935-8249 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.