The City of Merritt regulations regarding carrying on business is contained in the City of Merritt Business Licence Bylaw No. 2268, 2019.
A “business” is defined as “carrying on a commercial or industrial undertaking of any kind or nature or the providing of professional, personal or other services for the purposes of gain or profit.
Every business operating within the boundaries of the City of Merritt requires a valid business licence.
Renewals of business licences are issued on January 1 and terminate on December 31 of each year. It is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure that they have a valid licence and that all licence fees are paid promptly. Unpaid fees are subject to a penalty fee.
You are responsible for ensuring that the information relating to your business is kept current – that means letting us know of any change of address, change of location, change of ownership, change of name, etc. Licence change requests are to be submitted on the Business Licence Application Form.
Obtaining a Business Licence in Merritt
STEP 1: Non-Municipal Inspection(s)
An application may require non-municipal inspections from:
- Public Health Inspector.
- Technical Safety BC Inspector
You are responsible for acquiring these approvals and supplying them to the city in support of your application.
Please find below resources to find out more about non-municipal inspections which are required when starting a new business in Merritt:
- Find the permits and licences you need for your business:
- Business registrations across all levels of government:
- Independent, expert and tailored small business (free) advice:
STEP 2: Application with the City of Merritt
There are three types of business licences you can apply for:
- Regular Business Licence (annual)
- Short-term Business Licence (3 months or 6 months)
- Inter-Community Business Licence (ICBL) (In addition to the Regular Business Licence, application fee included)
Application fee: $50
STEP 3: Inspection(s)
An application may require inspection and approval of
- Building Inspector
- Fire Prevention Officer
- Cross Connection Control Coordinator
Inspection fee: $50/inspection (one follow-up inspection included if required)
STEP 4: Obtaining your Business Licence
The licence inspector will grant you your business licence after the application is compliant with all city and provincial legislation. The licence inspector will inform you and after paying the business licence fee, you can obtain your business licence.
Regular Business licence fee: $150
ICBL Okanagan-Similkameen: +$150
ICBL Fraser Valley: +$250
ICBL Thompson-Nicola: +$75
3-month Short-term Business licence fee: $55
6-month Short-term Business licence fee: $90
STEP 5: Business Licence Renewal
You are required to renew your regular business licence if you are continuing with your business activities. If you renew your business licence before the end of the year, you receive a 10% discount. If you fail to renew your licence before March 1st, a 20% fine will be added.
Business licence renewal fee: $135/$150/$180
Inter-Community Business Licence
This is one of the largest ICBL schemes in British Columbia, and covers communities across the central southern interior. Generally, all mobile business are permitted to participate, with specific exclusions for industries such as escorts, or vehicle hire.
- City of Armstrong
- District of Coldstream
- City of Enderby
- City of Kelowna
- Village of Keremeos
- District of Lake Country
- Village of Lumby
- City of Merritt
- Town of Oliver
- Town of Osoyoos
- District of Peachland
- City of Penticton
- Town of Princeton
- City of Revelstoke
- District of Salmon Arm
- District of Sicamous Township of Spallumcheen
- District of Summerland
- City of Vernon
- City of West Kelowna
- Regional District of Central Okanagan
The Fraser Valley ICBL opens up access to relatively nearby communities such as Hope and Kent, and as far afield as the City of Delta. The Fraser Valley scheme is more restrictive on the types of businesses which may participate, as it is focused on the construction trade, and defines the Mobile Businesses which may participate as “a trades contractor or other professional (related to the construction industry)”.
- City of Abbotsford
- City of Chilliwack
- City of Delta
- Village of Harrison
- Hot Springs
- District of Hope
- District of Kent
- City of Langley
- Township of Langley
- District of Maple Ridge
- City of Merritt
- District of Mission
- City of Pitt Meadows
- City of Surrey
The Thompson-Nicola ICBL allows businesses to operate in the area north of Merritt. Eligibilty would cover most mobile businesses, with specific exemptions for businesses such as those involved in the cannabis trade, or body rub services.
- City of Kamloops
- City of Merritt
- District of Barriere
- District of Logan Lake
- Village of Chase
- Tk’emlups First Nation
What is a Home-Based Business?
A Home-Based Business means any occupation or profession carried out in a dwelling by the family which is permanently resident in the dwelling, where such occupation shall be clearly incidental or secondary to the use of the dwelling for residential purposes.
- Home-based businesses have restrictions based on what type of business the resident wants to carry on, and what the zoning of the parcel is.
- These restrictions generally limit the number of employees, businesses, and the maximum permissible area. For details, see the Zoning Bylaw and Zoning Map.
- View Zoning Map
Food Truck Business
What is a Food Truck Business?
A Mobile Food Truck Business means a food truck or mobile trailer from which food and/or drink is prepared internally and dispensed externally, which is parked at a given private property location for no more than five days in any one week or in parks or on-street locations where permitted by the City.
Merritt Fire Rescue Department Requirements
The following is a list of local requirements for all mobile food vendors who wish to operate within the city of Merritt.
Fire Inspections must be conducted a minimum of 3 hours prior to operation. Vendors are subject to an annual inspection from the Merritt Fire Department.
Upon completion of the annual inspection, an inspection decal will be provided. Vendors who are non-compliant will not be permitted to continue to operate.
- The mobile vendor must have a valid City of Merritt Business Licence.
- The mobile vendor must be approved by the BC Safety Authority and ensure that all decals are visible. (If any alterations have been done to the unit a new inspection and decal are required)
- All Tents being in conjunction with the mobile vending must conform to NFPA 705 requirements. The tent must have a visible tag stating that it complies with this requirement.
- Cooking and/or grilling shall not be conducted under tents. All cooking appliances must be at least 1 meter away from a tent.
- Cooking appliances must be a minimum of 3 meters from any building or other food vendor.
- A guard/barrier, not less than 1 meter high, must be provided to act as a barrier between the public and cooking appliances. This would not apply if the cooking appliances are located within an enclosed trailer.
- All appliances must be approved commercial appliances. Residential type appliances such as deep fryers will not be acceptable.
- Minimum of one 2A10BC rated extinguisher shall be provided and shall be mounted in an acceptable location.
- A type K extinguisher must be provided for all deep frying and/or hot oil cooking.
- Fire extinguishers must be up to date. The extinguishers are required to be inspected annually by an approved agency.
- Enclosed cooking units, creating grease-laden vapors, require a kitchen canopy and suppression system conforming to NFPA 96.
- Enclosed cooking units with a kitchen canopy require a fixed suppression system to be installed within the unit. The fixed suppression system shall be serviced bi-annually by an approved technician.
- Kitchen canopy has been cleaned from the filter to fan in conformance with NFPA 96 requirements.
- All Spare propane bottles must be secured 3 meters from any cooking appliances or open flame.
- All propane connections must be soap tested to ensure there are no leaks in conformance with the BC Gas Code requirements.
- Wood burning appliances are prohibited within the City of Merritt.
- All mobile vendors with trailers must provide wheel chocks to prevent trailer movement.
- A current inspection decal from the Merritt Fire Department must be displayed in a visible location.
City Sign Bylaw
The City Sign Bylaw regulates the placements and construction of most signs. In order to install a sign, you are required to obtain a valid sign permit. When applying for a sign permit you should include a drawing of the sign that includes its dimensions, lettering and relation to the building or structure to which it is attached.
One Home-Based Business Sign may be erected for a licensed home occupation, in R1 & R2 Zones only. Subject to the following regulations;
- Permitted Types; fascia, projecting, window, canopy or freestanding. Not permitted types; illuminated, roof and sandwich board signs.
- Sign Area; the area of a home occupation sign shall not exceed 0.3 square meters
- Projection; a home occupation sign may not project over public property. A home occupation sign may be situated in a setback
- Height; no portion of a fascia or projecting home occupation sign may project above the roofline.
- Freestanding Structure; the top of the structure supporting a freestanding home occupation sign may not exceed 1.5 meters above finished grade.
Online Business Permits and Licences
BizPaL is an innovative online service that allows business clients to easily generate a customized list of the permits and licences they require from three levels of government—local, provincial, and federal—by providing some generic information about the business.
Benefits of BizPaL
Finding out which government requirements apply to a certain business type can be time consuming and frustrating. BizPaL was created to help identify what you may require, quickly and easily. The information you need is available from a single source. Entrepreneurs spend less time dealing with red tape—saving effort and money in the process—and more time building their business.
This service is the result of strong collaboration between the Government of Canada and participating provincial/territorial, regional, and municipal governments and is designed with the following benefits in mind:
- It’s free to use
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- It’s available 24/7