Business Licences

Business licencing promotes safe and legitimate business premises and operations within Esquimalt.

Its primary functions are to provide initial advice for new businesses, to process business licence applications within the context of Esquimalt’s regulatory requirements and to maintain an up-to-date database on existing businesses in the municipality. 

Who requires a business licence?

All businesses operating in Esquimalt require either a valid business licence or a valid Intermunicipal business licence. This applies to all resident businesses, including home occupations, commercial, professional offices, owners of rental apartment properties, and all non-resident businesses. 

A “home occupation” or home-based business refers to the making, servicing or repairing of goods, or the provision of services for hire from a residence. To qualify for a Home-based Business Licence, the applicant must comply with Section 13 Home Occupations of Zoning Bylaw, 1992, No. 2050, as amended. Click here for Section 13 of the bylaw.

Apply for a business licence

Things to know

  • Before you sign a lease, it’s important for prospective business owners who are applying for business licences to check with the Development Services Department to make sure your business is a permitted use on the property you wish to lease or buy.
  • New businesses can obtain a list of the required permits and licences from all three levels of government through the BizPaL web-based application.
  • Before you apply for a Business Licence, contact the Vancouver Island Health Authority, Health Protection and Environmental Services Branch, at 250-519-3648 to determine if your business requires a Health Inspection Certificate.
  • If you use your vehicle for your business (i.e., deliveries, etc.) a commercial vehicle decal is required. This decal can be purchased at the Esquimalt municipal hall at 1229 Esquimalt Road, and ranges from $25 to $40 depending on the weight of the vehicle. Please bring a copy of your current vehicle registration with you when purchasing the decal.

Business licence renewal:

Notices are mailed at the end of each year to all active businesses. Business licence fees are due annually and are payable by January 31. A $25 late fee will apply to all (renewal) business licence accounts as of February of that renewal year. All businesses must have a valid licence to legally operate in the Township of Esquimalt. 

If you receive a Business Licence Renewal invoice but your business has ceased to operate, please sign and return the invoice, stating “CLOSED”, or call 250-414-7136 for more information.

Pay for a business licence with MyEsquimalt

Active business licences