To promote the success of the small business sector and reduce barriers to doing business in communities across B.C., local governments, chambers of commerce, the provincial government and other key stakeholders, including the Small Business Roundtable, fully support the expansion of existing, and the introduction of new, mobile business license agreements in British Columbia.
What is a mobile business license?
A mobile business license, also referred to as an inter-community business license or inter-municipal business license, refers to a form of business license that is issued to mobile businesses (e.g. contractors and caterers) that allows the holder to operate across participating municipalities and regional districts with the purchase of a single license.
What are the benefits of a mobile business license?
All stakeholders benefit from a mobile business license.
For local governments: increases licensing compliance, reduces business license application processing, improves information flow among local governments and increases ability to monitor compliance.
For businesses: saves time and money by purchasing one mobile business license instead of multiple non-resident permits, reduces administrative burden, and allows businesses to operate where their services are needed.
For residents: increases choice in service providers.
What does a mobile business license look like?
There is some variation among different mobile business license agreements that currently exist in the province, based on decisions made by participating local governments. Typically, at the time of purchasing a basic business license from the local government in which a mobile business is based, the business also purchases a mobile business license which allows them to operate in municipalities and regional districts that are participants to the mobile business license agreement.
Under the Okanagan-Similkameen model, the cost of a mobile business license is $150. The license allows the mobile business to work in all nineteen participating municipalities and regional districts. Local governments retain all revenue generated by the sale of mobile business licenses, and businesses remain responsible for complying with the bylaws of each municipality and regional district in which they operate.
Mobile licenses in B.C.
There are a number of other jurisdictions that offer a mobile business license. These are;
• 19 in Okanagan-Similkameen
• 13 in Greater Victoria
• Five in Trail
• Four in Cowichan Lake
• Three in North/West Vancouver.
The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce went before their respective municipal councils on Monday night to request council implement a Fraser Valley mobile business license in partnership with other municipalities within the region. In Mission, council fully supported the idea and instructed staff to look into the recommendation.