The District of Stewart values your business. We are committed to providing excellent service in a business-friendly environment. Our goal is to assist businesses to grow and prosper and to generate economic growth for the community. Whether you are starting a business in Stewart or simply want information about conducting business in the District, this page should guide you to the information you need.
Going into business may be a stressful time with many issues to be considered. The District of Stewart supports and encourages new businesses. In addition, the District must also look after the health, safety and liability of the public. By explaining some of these issues and concerns in advance, we aim to help you understand the process when you are applying for a Business Licence and be able to process your application quickly.
The District of Stewart requires that you complete a Business License application form if you are starting a new business or changing an existing one. The following items need to be attached:
a site plan of the property showing where the premises is in relation to the property lines;
a drawing showing the location of the required parking
an interior floor plan of the premises.
We look at a number of items during our review of your business license application. First all properties in the District are zoned; typically for Residential, Commercial or Industrial. The zoning designation regulates (among many items) the kind of business you can conduct within that particular zone. You may wish to arrange a meeting with the District of Stewart Administrator before submitting your application form.
If you are conducting a business that requires people to come into a building, the building official will conduct a visual site inspection to ensure that the health and safety requirements of the BC Building Code are met. You are encouraged to arrange this inspection prior to signing a lease or purchasing a building for your business. This includes a business that is being conducted in a home. A residential home is not built to the standards of a commercial building and as such, we look closely at what type of business will be conducted in a home to ensure the health and safety requirements of the code are met, and whether the business proposal meets the zoning regulations.
The fact that a business has been conducted at a location before, does not preclude it from being inspected again when a business application is being received. The previous owner may have done alterations without District knowledge and other levels of government may have changed requirements during the operations of the previous business. Therefore, the change of business ownership provides an opportunity to inspect the premises and advise accordingly.
Other government agencies such as the Ministry of Health may also be involved to assist you with your proposal.
The Business Licence fees vary depending on the type of business. These fees can likely be determined based on the rate sheet included in the Business Bylaw link below. Fees for businesses that operate throughout the year are charged on an annual basis, and are non-refundable once a licence has been approved and issued.
Certain types of businesses may operate from home, with some restrictions. The District’s Zoning Bylaw restricts the type of business activities that are allowed to operate in a residential neighborhood (in order to minimize disturbances to surrounding properties), limits the size of the area used for business purposes, and regulates parking and storage impacts. Please read Zoning Bylaw 881, 2014.
For information regarding business licence applications in the District of Stewart please read Bylaw No. 864, 2013.
To apply for a business licence in the District of Stewart, complete the form on the last page and either email it to the office: email@example.com or deliver it in person to 705 Brightwell Street, Stewart BC.