Business Licences

If you are providing professional, personal or other services or carrying on a commercial or industrial undertaking of any kind for the purpose of gain or profit you are operating a business. A business licence is required to operate a business in the District of Metchosin.
The annual licence fee varies from $35 to $100 and the licence term is from November 1 to October 31.  Use Schedule A of the Business Licence Bylaw, 2002 to determine your annual licence fee in Schedule B of the bylaw. 

Business Licence Application

Business Licence Bylaw, 2002

Short-term Rentals

The District of Metchosin recently changed its Business Licence Bylaw to require licenses for properties that are being rented for terms of less than 30 days (short-term rentals), as well as those used for boarding.  Requiring Business Licenses is the first step while Council considers whether further changes or policies are needed to control short-term rental use in the District.

 Short Term Rentals - An overview of Metchosin's business licence requirements

 Short Term Rental Business Licence Application Package

 Guide for Short Term Rental Business Licences 

Good Neighbour Brochure for Short Term Rentals

Home Based Businesses

A business licence is required to operate a home based business in the District of Metchosin. The following are some of the criteria that your home business must meet:

  • The operator of the home business must be a family member who is a resident of the dwelling unit located on the lot on which the home business is conducted.
  • The external appearance of the lot on which the home business is operated must retain a residential appearance.
  • Home business, including storage of materials, must occur wholly within a building and within the maximum floor area specified in the Land Use Bylaw.
  • Only goods produced on the property can be sold from the property.

There are limitations pertaining to the number of employees, and number of vehicles.

There are specific regulations pertaining to:

  • horticultural operations
  • bed & breakfast establishments
  • repair of motor vehicles
  • roadside stands (no business licence required)
  • sales distributorships
  • contractors & mobile businesses (intermunicipal business licence)
  • home businesses in the land reserve

To determine whether you may operate a business in your home, you will need the following information:

A home business cannot

  • produce noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odor, litter, or glare which is detectable from any lot line of the lot on which the business is operated; or
  • create any electrical interference, fire hazard or traffic congestion.


You may apply for a sign permit at the Municipal Hall for a fee of $25. A licenced home business is permitted one sign with two faces with a maximum area of 0.5 m² (5.4 ft²) for each face. The sign must be displayed on the property where the home business is located.

Why so many regulations?

Small scale endeavours involving such activities as pottery, weaving, arts and crafts, home daycare, small appliance repair, and offices fit into a neighbourhood without disturbing its residential nature. No one moving into a quiet Metchosin neighbourhood wants a large, noisy business developed next door. Therefore, limitations have been put in place to prevent that type of situation from occurring.

Growth of a Business

Over time, home businesses may grow in size and scale to the extent that they must move to an area designated for commercial activities. This process of transition from a ‘home business’ to a full fledged commercial activity is important in order to retain the residential and rural nature of the non-commercially designated areas.
- excerpt from Metchosin Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 258

Home businesses shall be a permitted use in all residential designations in order to assist home owners to supplement household income through home businesses as defined by the Land Use Bylaw.
- excerpt from Metchosin Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 258

Intermunicipal Business Licenses

The District of Metchosin participates in an intermunicipal business licence scheme for contractors, towing services, and mobile sales services. This enables businesses located in Metchosin to operate in other Capital Region municipalities without having to purchase a business licence in each municipality. The annual licence fee is $100 and the licence term is from November 1 to October 31.

Participating Municipalities

  • Colwood
  • Langford
  • Highlands
  • Sooke
  • View Royal
  • Saanich
  • Esquimalt
  • Victoria
  • Oak Bay
  • Central Saanich
  • Sidney
  • North Saanich

Intermunicipal Business Licence Agreement