Business Licence Info

Any person wishing to start a business, or to expand or to relocate an existing business within the Town of Creston must obtain a business licence.

Location, Location, Location

One of the first considerations in starting a business is finding the most suitable location. Before any plans are firmed up, however, it will be necessary to consult the zoning regulations which prohibit some businesses from operating in certain areas of the town.

The British Columbia regulations do not restrict the number of businesses in a particular area - only the type of business which may be carried on is controlled. In addition to your review of the zoning regulations, it is advisable to communicate with the town’s Building Department staff.

Preliminary approval or disapproval of your location obtained at this early stage can save much time in the long run. There is little use in investing your money and time in a new endeavour only to find out that your licence application will be turned down.

Building Plans

Once the location has been decided upon, the premises from which the business will operate will have to meet the town’s requirements. Here again, it is advisable to consult the town’s Building Department as to whether building plans will have to be approved in the case of a new building, whether alternations to existing premises will be necessary or whether proposed alterations to existing premises will meet with the town’s approval. Valuable informal advice may also be obtained at this stage from the Building Inspector concerning current or future plans for the building.

Fire & Health

The next step will be to see the Fire Department to ensure that intended operations can be carried out at the proposed address. Their advice will be particularly useful when a business such as a restaurant is planned. Lastly, it is advisable to consult with the Provincial Health Inspector if the proposed business must conform to provincial health regulations; eg. where a restaurant or a day care facility are under consideration.

Business Licence Application

Once preliminary discussions with the zoning, building and health departments are completed (in many cases this can be accomplished over the phone), the business licence application form (available at the Town Office) should be completed. This will necessitate a visit to the Town Office.

Inter-Community Business Licence (Mobile Businesses)

The Town of Creston participates in the West Kootenay Inter-Community Business License Program, which includes the following municipalities: Town of Creston, City of Castlegar, City of Grand Forks, City of Nelson and Villages of Kaslo, New Denver, Rossland, Salmo, Slocan and Silverton. The ICBL allows mobile businesses to operate in multiple municipalities, under one licence, rather than obtaining non-residence licences from each municipality. Contact Town Hall to find out more.

Progress of Application

The application is processed by the Licensing Department staff who usually will be able to inform you of the progress being made and any problems which may arise. The business premises must be available for inspection by the various departments, should they require it. Depending on the nature of the business, the town’s staff must be satisfied that all requirements have been fulfilled. Appointments for inspections should be made in advance to minimize delays. Generally, a licence will not be granted until approval has been given by all departments involved and everything is in place for the opening.

Yearly Renewal

Your licence is valid from January 1 to December 31 each year. You will receive a renewal notice prior to each renewal period that is due and payable upon receipt at a fee assessed by the Licence Department.

Licence Changes/Transfers

The location of the business for which the licence has been issued cannot be changed without first having obtained a transfer of the licence from the Licence Inspector. Please remember to notify the Licence Inspector of any other change that may take place with regard to the business (eg. manager name, phone number, change in type of business), or if you are going out of business.

Sign Permits

All business signs require a sign permit prior to installation. The regulations for signs will vary depending on the zoning of the property, type of sign proposed and whether or not there are signs currently installed on the lot. Permit information can be obtained from the Building Inspector or Bylaw Enforcement Officer.


Please be advised that if your new business is a change of use for the property address (a different or new activity), adjustments to the utility billing may be applicable. Please contact the Finance and Corporate Services Department for further information.

Home Occupations

Home Occupation means an occupation, home craft or profession which is clearly incidental to the use of a dwelling unit for residential purposes or to the residential use of a lot occupied by a dwelling. Please note, a business licence is required for all home occupations. Some types of businesses are not permitted as a home occupation. Please contact the Business Licence Inspector of further information.

A home occupation use, where permitted by this bylaw, shall satisfy the following provisions:

  1. A permitted home occupation use shall:
    1. not change the residential appearance or character of the dwelling or the neighbourhood in which it is located;
    2. not give any exterior indication of its existence except by a sign which conforms to the provisions of the Town of Creston Sign Regulation Bylaw;
    3. be completely enclosed either within the principle dwelling or in an accessory building, including the storage or display of materials or finished goods;
    4. be clearly secondary in nature to the primary purposes of the property as indicated by its zoning designation;
    5. not involve delivery of materials in such quantity as to require frequent or regular delivery by a commercial vehicle or trailer;
    6. not discharge or emit odorous, noxious or toxic matter or vapours, heat, glare, noise or radiation, or recurrently generated ground vibrations; and
    7. not result in traffic congestion, electrical interference, fire hazard or hazards.
  2. The salvage, repair, maintenance or sales of motor vehicles or motor vehicle engines or parts shall not be permitted as a home occupation.
  3. A home occupation involving the sale of a commodity not produced on the premises shall not be permitted; however, telephone or mail order sales of goods shall be permitted provided that customers do not enter the premises to inspect, purchase or take possession of the goods.
  4. Off-street parking shall be provided for all the business' employees.
  5. Except as specifically set out in Table 5.2 (PDF), the home occupation is to be conducted only by the resident or residents of the dwelling unit.
  6. A child day care or adult day care shall be a permitted Home Occupation, subject to the regulations of the Community Care Facilities Licencing Act.

BizPaL Online Business Permits & Licences

BizPaL is a web-based service that allows business clients to generate a customized list of the permits and licences they may require from three levels of government – local, provincial and federal – by providing some generic information about the business. BizPaL is not a substitute for directly consulting with the Town of Creston and may not all include necessary information for permits and licences. Please contact us for all inquiries.

This service is the result of strong collaboration between the Government of Canada and participating provincial/territorial, regional and municipal governments. Please click here to visit our BizPaL page.