Starting a business is a major undertaking and there are a number of resources available to assist you with that process. Buying or leasing a building or premises and getting a business licence are just two of the many steps to complete. This handout includes details of the important things to consider and review when you are starting a business in Coquitlam and prior to completing a purchase of sale or lease agreement.
Home-based businesses are an important part of the City’s economy, however the City needs to ensure that neighbourhood character and livability is maintained where home-based businesses are conducted. As a result, there are limitations on the operation of a home-based business or accessory home occupation.
Look over our Starting a Business Brochure for more information.
Business Licence Requirements
The City of Coquitlam requires every person carrying on, maintaining, owning or operating within the City any profession, business, trade or occupation, to hold a valid business licence. The Business Licence must be visibly displayed on the premises. Licence holders operating a mobile business must carry the licence on his or her person while working in Coquitlam. Licences are valid for one year from the date of commencement of the business.
Fill out a Business Licence Application. Applications are also available at the City Hall Business Licence Division.
Fill out an Emergency Contact form for the Fire & RCMP.
If a business is to be conducted from an applicant's Coquitlam residence, the Home Occupation Regulation Summary must be met.
The processing time of an application depends on completeness of the application when received and the need for any approvals from other City departments or other regulatory authorities such as the Fraser Health Authority. The fee for a business licence varies depending on the type of business or businesses being conducted.
You can also renew your Business Licence online.
Mobile/Street Vendor Business Licence
The City of Coquitlam is accepting applications for vending carts and vending vehicles for food and goods. With new SkyTrain stations opening soon in Coquitlam, there are new hot spots for street vendors! Coquitlam has operated a successful “street vendor” program since 2012.
Interested parties will also need to complete a Mobile Vending Licence Agreement. Details are available here.
Business Licence Bylaw Changes - Effect May 1, 2014
- perform first bylaw review and fee update since 2007
- streamline and simplify the way fees are calculated
- become more user friendly for businesses and administratively efficient for staff
- establish the framework for better on-line application processes
- establish fees that are more equitable based on businesses’ size and impact on the community
- minimize financial impact on businesses and on City revenues
- total number of business licence types reduced
- move from 70 different types to 8 broad categories
- General Services
- Financial Businesses
- Industrial Service Businesses
- Sales Businesses
- Recreation/Health/Wellness/Entertainment Businesses
- High Impact Businesses
- ATMs/Vending Machines
- consistent fees applied to similar businesses
- brackets replaced with charges based on single unit increments
- i.e. use square meters and number of employees
- fee for businesses that serve alcohol to off-set additional regulatory costs
- new definition of “professional”
- “unclassified businesses” eliminated
- business licence fees can be moved to the City’s Fees and Charges Bylaw
- still expect at least 60% of Coquitlam businesses will pay $160 or less
- existing businesses will be sent a letter with personalized fee calculation prior to renewal date
- allows businesses to correct outdated or incorrect information (e.g. size, employees)
- despite simplified fee structure, City will still collect detailed business-type information for statistical purposes
If you have questions please contact the Business Licensing Division at 604-927-3085
Tri Cities Intermunicipal Business Licence
The Tri Cities Intermunicipal Business Licence is a program allowing mobile businesses based in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam or Port Moody to obtain an add-on and operate legally in the other two Tri Cities municipalities. Non-resident businesses based in other municipalities must still obtain non-resident business licences to operate in each Tri Cities municipality.
A mobile business is a business that has a location, shop, office, or home-base in either Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam or Port Moody and delivers its services by moving from client to client throughout the Tri Cities.
A mobile business includes contractors of all types, such as building contractors, trades people, mobile mechanics, landscaping services, janitorial services, pest control services, etc. Also included are other mobile service providers such as photographers, pet groomers, hairdressers, massage therapists, etc.
The principal municipality is the community in which the business has its location, shop, office or home base.
Certain categories of business are not eligible for the Intermunicipal Business Licence such as escort agencies; body rub services; and vehicles for hire such as taxis, limousines and buses . These business types require a separate business licence for each municipality in which they operate.
A business that is eligible for an Intermunicipal Business Licencestill must obtain a regular business licence (principal business licence) from the municipality in which they are located. In addition to the principal business licence, a mobile business may obtain one additional Intermunicipal Business Licence to do business in the other participating municipalities.
- The cost of an Intermunicipal Business Licence is $165.00 annually. Licence fees are not prorated.
- An Intermunicipal Business Licenceis valid for the same term as the standard business licence issued from the principal municipality.
- A business holding an Intermunicipal Business Licence must comply with all of the Bylaws and Regulations of each municipality in which they operate.
The Tri Cities Intermunicipal Business Licence is a partnership between the Cities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
Depending on the type of business you are operating in Coquitlam, you may require other permits or licences that are not regulated by the City of Coquitlam. Examples include liquor licences and health licences. It is important to be aware of these requirements as they are in place to protect the safety and health of you, your customers and the general public.
If your business is not registered visit the OneStop Business Registry website to get your name and company registered in BC.
Also be sure to check out the BizPaL Online Business Permits and Licences service that simplifies the business licence and other compliance regulation process for entrepreneurs, governments, and third party business service providers. The BizPaL service is the result of combined efforts by the federal, provincial/territorial and participating municipal governments.