If you are planning to operate, or already operate a business in Fort Nelson or in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, you require a business licence.

Business Licence Renewal

  • Licences must be renewed annually by paying the applicable licence fee prior to January 1 each year. Renewal invoices are automatically sent out in the beginning of December.
  • Failure to renew will require the business owner to submit a new licence application.
  • Failure to renew and continued operation of a business may result in a fine.

Changing an Existing Licence

The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality must be notified in the event of an address change, name change, ownership change or if a business has ceased to operate.

Starting a Business


Before applying for a licence, you will need to select a location for your business. Zoning Bylaw regulations vary in different areas and can affect the type of business you are permitted to operate. Before confirming a lease or purchase agreement, ensure the location is suitable. Please note that Major Home-Based Business, Minor Home-Based Business and Bed and Breakfast regulations are contained in Zoning Bylaw section 3.

If you are unsure if your business complies with regulations, feel free to contact us for clarification.


Commercial and Industrial

When applying for a business licence in commercial or industrial areas, please consider the following:

  • Zoning Bylaw regulations and location suitability.
  • BC Building Code, and Building Permit requirements for tenant improvements.
  • BC Fire Code requirements and Fire Rescue Services inspection(s).
  • Northern Health Authority requirements for food facilities (e.g. restaurant, stores, processor, mobile food, etc.) and personal service (e.g. salons, spas, esthetics, tattoo shops, etc.)
  • Note that a Development Permit, Building Permit (simple or complex), and/or Sign Permit may be required for interior or exterior renovations and/or if you are changing the type of business occurring at a location (e.g. converting retail space into a restaurant).

Home Based Business Regulations

The NRRM's Zoning Bylaw restricts certain types of business activities from taking place in residential neighbourhoods to prevent disturbances to surrounding properties. There are limitations on home business types and sizes and regulations on hours, parking, and storage.

For more information on home based businesses:


A valid NRRM business licence is required to conduct business within the Municipality. If you are planning to operate more than one business type or at more than one location, a separate licence for each business is required.

NRRM business licences expire on December 31 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date for a business to continue operating. If a licence expires, the business owner must reapply.

Business Licence Application

  1. After receiving your application, Regional Development and Planning will review it. Note that the provincial and federal governments may have additional requirements that must be met before a business can legally operate.
  2. If your application is approved, you will be contacted by NRRM front counter staff to inform you of the status of your application and confirm the business licence fee. Once you pay for the licence, it is considered approved and in good standing. A hard copy of the licence will then be sent to the email or mailing address in your application.


  • Licence fees are identified in Schedule A of the Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw.
  • Licence Applications are processed within 5-10 days unless otherwise stated.
  • Licences are non-transferable and fees paid are non-refundable.
  • You must notify the NRRM if your business changes its address, name, or ownership or if your business has ceased to operate.

Operating without a business licence may result in a fine.


Benefits of a Business Licence

  • Free advertising in the Chamber of Commerce Business Directory.
  • Allows NRRM Economic Development staff to be aware of your business when promoting Fort Nelson- and NRRM-based services to investors and industry.
  • Tells your customers that you are a trustworthy local business in compliance with local regulations.

Business Licence Application/Information Change Form