Business & Economy

Starting a Business

Starting a small business is exciting but can be nerve-racking. One of the first things you should find out about is the regulations. Municipal Hall is the first place to check for local bylaws that concern your new business. You can find out about:

  • Your Zoning Requirements
  • A Business License
  • Sign Regulations
  • Parking Regulations
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Home Occupations
  • Other regulatory information on starting up a business in Summerland

Anyone doing business in Summerland requires a Summerland Business Licence.   You will need to complete an application form giving us details of your business.  Every business license holder automatically receives membership with the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.  Before the licence is issued, we may need approval from the Development Services Dept. to ensure your space satisfies safety and zoning requirements, Fire Dept. approval, and Interior Health approval may also be required if you are dealing with food or health issues.  It is a good idea to call Interior Health in advance to see what guidelines they have for you to follow. Business license fees are determined based on the type of business you are doing and are payable before the licence is issued.  Licences are valid until December 31st of the year you purchase it. Renewals are sent out at the end of each year and due in January. Business License applications are available here.

Mobile Business License

If you will be doing business or performing a service in other cities, you may be eligible to also purchase an Inter-Community Business Licence. You must first have a regular Business Licence and for an additional $150.00 you can also do work in other participating municipalities. You can apply for this at the same time you fill out the Business Licence Application (it is the same form) or you can apply for it at a later date. Click on Information on the Inter-Community Business License link (19KB PDF) for more details.

Starting a Small Business in BC Guide

If you are interested in starting your own business, there are many things you will need to think about and we would like to help. This guide (3MB PDF) will introduce you to some of the things you need to know and do and tell you where you can get more information.

small business BC

As an entrepreneur, deciding your business idea is one of the most important steps you may make in your career. There are some Business Idea FAQ's basic things you should keep in mind. Find out if you have the entrepreneurial spirit in the "Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?" section. Download Essential Business Development Concepts.

A Guide To Resources for Women Starting Your Business

If you are thinking of starting a business, you're in good company. Today British Columbia has almost 360,000 small businesses, and women own or operate almost 36 percent of them; the highest rate in Canada.

Following are links to two guides to help get you started, and to grow your small business.

From drafting a business plan to finding the start-up money, these guides will help explain what you need to know and where you can find the information. You will also meet inspirational BC women who generously share their own business experiences.

At the end of each section, you will find sources for more information, and key resources are summarized at the end of the guide. These have been specially selected for women starting a business in BC and provide valuable information.

Cool Companies: Insights to Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Cool Companies is a new magazine for entrepreneurial-minded business people passionate about innovation. Like a shortcut to networking, Cool Companies provides an entry point to hundreds of high-quality business opportunities and entrepreneurial insights to seed innovation in readers' lives.