Any activity or undertaking providing professional, personal or other service for the purposes of gain or profit requires a valid business licence. Other than Temporary Licences, a business licence is valid for a 12-month period from the date of issuance and shall expire on the last day of the 12th month. For Temporary Licences, refer to the Business Licence Bylaw No. 1551-2006, Section 7.2.
The City of Abbotsford does not register business names, or issue GST or PST numbers. Contact OneStop at 1-877-822-6727 for further information.
Business Licence Information
Cost of a Business Licence
- For businesses located within the City of Abbotsford the fee depends on a number of factors including the licence type, subtype and nature of business.
- Businesses located outside the City of Abbotsford (Non-Resident) have an annual fee of $130.
- An admin fee of $25 is charged for all new business licence applications.
For more information, refer to the Business Licence Bylaw No. 1551-2006.
Part of the online application process includes an online payment that accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
All business licences are non-transferable. A new application must be completed. If there is a new owner, the licence must be issued before they may start operating the business.
If the nature of the business and the location are the same, a request to update the business name and/or mailing address should be made in writing. Complete and submit a Business Licence Amendment Application together with a copy of the name change registration (if applicable), and the Administration Fee of $25 (payable to City of Abbotsford).
The City will need to be notified in writing if your business has ceased operating so that your business licence file can be closed. Requests to close your business licence file can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TYPE SUBTYPE ACCOMMODATION includes apartments, hotels, motels, mobile home parks, bed and breakfasts, resorts.
- Bed and Breakfast
- Mobile Home Park
- the fabrication, testing, servicing and repairing of farm equipment;
- the processing, storing, distributing, wholesaling, grading, sorting or packaging of farm produce, animal products, feed and seed;
- the selling of farm equipment and vehicles; and
- the operation of an animal stockyard.
- Agri-Food Processing
- Farm Services
- Kennel/Animal Training
- Medical Marihuana Production Facility
- Natural Resources
- Produce Sales
- Repair Agricultural Equip - A Zone
ASSEMBLY includes businesses where there is a gathering of people such as a coffee shop, restaurant, art gallery, golf course, or banquet hall.
- Amusement Facility
- Art Gallery
- Banquet Hall
- Bingo Hall/Gaming
- Bowling Alley/Billiard Hall
- Exhibition Complex
- Food Primary
- Funeral Home
- Golf Course
- Liquor Primary/BarWatch
- Liquor Primary/No BarWatch
- Parks, Recreation and Culture Facilities
- Recreational Facility
- Restaurant With Drive-Up Window
AVIATION includes businesses in the aviation industry such as flight schools, ground service, flight service, maintenance of aircrafts.
- Air Freight/Passenger Service
- Aviation Contractor
- Aviation Fuel Supplier
- Aviation School
BUSINESS AND PERSONAL USE includes professional, household, or personal services such as banking services, spas, beauty salons, janitorial services, medical clinics, pet grooming, accounting services, chiropractors, and engineers.
- Automated Teller Machines
- Business Services
- Charitable Service
- Film Production
- Financial Institution
- Health Services
- Non-Registered Massage Therapist
- Personal Service
CARE FACILITIES includes services for the care of children, such as daycares and preschools; also includes personal care services or assistance such as private hospital, rehabilitation and extended care facilities, personal and intermediate care facilities.
- Day Care
- Day Care - Charitable
- Day Care without Fraser Health Licence
- Personal Care
- Residential Care
CONTRACTOR includes businesses that perform any type of construction, including alterations.
- Blasting & Drilling
- Building Trades
- Construction Consultants
- Fire Protection
- HPO Licenced Builders
- Pool/Hot Tub
- Road Construction and Traffic Control
- Sign Contractor
INDUSTRIAL includes food processing and manufacturing, assembling, storing, wholesaling, testing, transporting, servicing and repairing of equipment, goods and materials.
- Auto Body Repair
- Auto Recycler
- Auto Services
- Boat Sales and Service
- Farm Equipment Sales
- Feed Mill
- Food Processing
- Heavy Equipment/Truck Sales
- Heavy Equipment/Truck Services
- Industrial Sales
- Junk/Scrap Metal Dealer
- Lumber Manufacturing
- Oil Storage/Pipeline
- Recycling Depot
- Small Engine Repair
- Towing Service
- Waste Services
- Wood Working Shop
MERCANTILE includes displaying or selling retail goods, wares or merchandise.
- Auto Rentals
- Auto Sales/Leasing
- Automotive Supplies
- Building Supplies
- Catalogue Sales
- Charitable Service
- Department Store
- Fabric Store
- Flea Market
- Food Store
- Fuel Service Station
- Home Decor/Furniture
- Licensee Retail Store
- Medical Supply Store
- Mobile Vendors
- On-Line Sales
- Pawn Shop
- Pet Shops/Supplies
- Pharmacy/Personal Care
- Recreational Retail
- Rental Outlets
- Second Hand Goods
- Variety Store
- Water Suppliers
TEMPORARY LICENCE includes non-permanent businesses such as carnivals, ice cream vendors, direct sellers, film production, local produce sales, non-permanent commercial sales and charitable activities.
- Description of Business - The business description should provide details on the nature of the business (i.e. what service/product you provide and how) that will help staff verify that the most appropriate licence type and subtype were selected.
- Number of Employees - The people that should be included are the full and part-time employees, including the owners/applicants. This information is used for statistical purposes and does not affect the cost of the licence.
- Square Footage Utilized - This is the area of any building or land used by the business including any outside area used for the storage of goods, commodities, vehicles, etc. Do not include parking spaces for vehicles.
- Emergency Contact for the business - The emergency contact must be someone other than the owner (over the age of 18) who may be contacted if the owner is unavailable during an emergency, as required by the Abbotsford Police. Also, the emergency contact phone number must be different than the owner's phone number.
- For some business types, the City may require additional documents (e.g. personal care businesses will need to provide a copy of their Fraser Health approval; plumbers, electricians, gas contractors will need to provide a copy of their Trade Qualification [TQ] certificate). The applicant will be contacted if any additional documentation is required.
- All information provided to the City of Abbotsford online or in person is subject to the confidentiality imposed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
System Requirements for the online form
The system is designed for Microsoft Internet Explorer
- The system uses pop-up windows. Advertising or pop-up window blocking must be disabled
- The City uses PayPal, one of the most popular and secure payment providers on the internet. Payments are made using an SSL secure connection certified by Verisign.
Business licences that cannot be applied for online
Temporary business licences such as the following cannot be applied for online:
- Temporary Licence
- Charitable Activity
- Direct Seller
- Film Production
- Ice Cream Vendor
- Non-Permanent Commercial Sales
- Trade Show
- Business Licence Bylaw No. 1551-2006
- Building Bylaw No. 2883-2018
- Sign Bylaw No. 1022-2001
- Abbotsford Zoning Bylaw, 2014
- Secondhand Goods Regulation Bylaw No. 949-2000
- Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA)
- BC Registries and Online Services
- Canada Business
- Community Care Facilities Licensing
- Community Futures Self Employment Program
- Corporate Online
- Fraser Health
- Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch
- OneStop BC Business Registry
- Small Business BC
Information provided in this FAQ is intended to clarify the business licence application process. For complete information, refer to the Business Licence Bylaw No. 1551-2006. This guide should be used for general information only and not as a substitute for municipal bylaws and regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions
All signs, other than signs located on a residential property to advertise a home-based business, require permits. A Sign Permit Application can be completed online. Signs for home-based businesses do not require permits, but must comply with the regulations as outlined for Identification Signs in the Sign Bylaw No. 1022-2001, Schedule A. Contact the Building Permits & Licences Division for more information.
A permit is required for any building modifications made and any new plumbing installed including sprinklers. Paint, carpeting or cosmetic changes do not require a permit.
All businesses located within the City of Abbotsford require an inspection. The Licence Inspector will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time for the inspection.
Once a business licence is issued, a business can start operating.
Inter-Municipal Business Licences
Inter-Municipal Business Licences are available in the Fraser Valley. For an additional $250, eligible mobile businesses can be licenced to work in all eleven participating municipalities.
- City of Chilliwack
- City of Langley
- City of Maple Ridge
- City of Merritt
- City of Pitt Meadows
- City of Surrey
- City of Delta
- District of Hope
- District of Kent
- District of Mission
- Township of Langley
- Village of Harrison Hot Springs
Eligibility is limited to trades contractors or other professionals (related to the construction industry) or contractor who performs maintenance and/or repair of land and buildings from other than their Premises.
New applications and renewals should be submitted to the municipal business licencing office of the home municipality (where the business is presently located and licenced). City of Abbotsford based businesses can apply or renew an existing application in person at Abbotsford City Hall.
Building Permits & Licences Division
Ground Floor - 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford
Monday – Friday
8:30 am – 4:00 pm (excluding statutory holidays)
An eligible business (including a home-based operation) would pay the business licence fee set by their home municipality plus the annual Inter-Municipal Business Licence fee of $250.
Eligible businesses that have a fixed or permanent location within the participating municipalities still are required to obtain a Municipal Business Licence for each location.
For more information please contact the Business Licence Division at 604-864-5525.