Apply for a Child Care Business Licence

Businesses operating in Nanaimo are required to have a valid business licence. The information requested in this application is necessary to fully evaluate your request for a business licence. Completion of this form does not guarantee approval of a business licence. Business shall not commence prior to a licence being issued.

  1. Licence fees apply to a calendar year Jan 1st to Dec 31st.
  2. Most licence fees are pro-rated quarterly in the first year of business for new businesses only.
  3. If the licence is approved, licence fees are not refundable.
Inter-Community Licence Required

Mailing Address (if different from business address)

Emergency Contacts

(please provide a complete description of your business operations)

(if applicable)

Number of Employees

Business Premises

Are renovations planned?

(A building permit may be required for the renovations; if you are replacing or adding plumbing fixtures a building permit will be required. Please call 250-755-4429 for further details)
Is a building permit required?
Do you have a Commercial Decal?

(Commercial Decals are required for Business Vehicles)
I am aware of Bylaw 5442, which regulates the hours of business between 6:00am and 11:00pm for retail businesses within a specified area (see Bylaw amendment 5442 (section 8.9) of Bylaw 5351 for further details)

Applicant's Acknowledgement

hereby make application for a licence in accordance with the particulars as stated in this application, and declare the information in the application to be true and correct. I undertake to supply to the Licence Inspector all documents, paper or certificates both requested by this division and required by other Federal, Provincial or Local Government Act and Regulations. I undertake to comply with all Bylaws of the City of Nanaimo and all other laws now in force or which may hereafter come into force. I also understand, payment of the business licence fee in advance does not guarantee approval of the licence and I cannot commence business until such time as a business licence has been approved and issued.


  • No retail sales will be conducted from the home.
  • A building permit is required if you are having more than 8 children in care. Note that this will likely require extensive renovations as this is regarded as a change to an Assembly Occupancy. The maximum allowable number of children in care is 16.
  • The business licence holder or spouse is the owner or renter of the home.
  • The business licence holder lives in the home
  • The daycare is licenced by the Ministry of Health as a Community Care Facility.


  • The daycare is located in the principal dwelling (home) or accessory building or combination.
  • Only one daycare is located within the home or accessory building.
  • There is no more than one non-illuminated fascia sign displayed for the daycare. The sign is affixed to the house and it does not exceed 0.2 sq.m. (2.16 sq. ft) in area.


  • A parking plan indicating the location and dimensions of parking areas is attached.
  • All storage related to the daycare is wholly contained within permanent buildings.


Following is a guide to the building code requirements for conversion from Residential to Assembly occupancy for daycare use. This guideline should not be used as a substitute for existing building codes and other regulations but is provided as a general guide. References are to the B.C. Building Code 2006 edition. 

Assembly occupancy (A-2) requirements in residential zones apply to daycares where the number of children in care is more than 8 to a maximum of 16. 

A2 occupancies must be designed and construction supervised by registered professionals (Architect, Mechanical and Structural engineers). Schedules A, B-1, B-2 will be required from the appropriate professionals. 

Fire separation within building

Fire resistance ratings between the daycare area of the house and the residential portion must not be less than 1 hour.

  1. Includes new walls and existing walls and/or ceilings. Additional gypsum board and 45 minute rated doors with auto closers may be required.
  2. Attached garages must be separated from the remainder of the building by a 1 hour fire separation.
  3. Non-combustible plumbing (i.e. not plastic) or an approved fire stop system is required where plumbing penetrates the fire rated wall and/or ceiling.
  4. Fire dampers are required where furnace ducts penetrate the 1 hr fire resistance rated assembly. A Mechanical Engineer must submit a design and Schedules B1, B2 for field review.
  5. The heating systems must be completely separate.
  6. Common rooms or rooms on the same floor as the daycare that serves the residential portion of the building (laundry, storage etc.) must be separated and be accessed without passing through the other occupancy.
  7. Any room containing a fuel-fired appliance (gas/oil furnace or water tank) must be separated from the remainder of the building.


  1. 1 female washroom, plus 1 male washroom and 1 universal (handicap) washroom or:
  2. 1 female universal and 1 male universal washroom

Access for persons with disabilities:

Ramps are required to conform to Section 3.8 of the B.C. Building Code to one entrance with a minimum 34 inch wide door.

Spatial separation (prevention of fire spread to other buildings)

To meet spatial separation requirements windows may have to be removed, non-combustible cladding installed and gypsum board added to the exterior walls. In some cases, wood construction may not be permitted.
Combustible projections (sundecks, stairs, and eaves) are not permitted within 4 feet of property line or within 8 feet of a combustible building on the same property (sheds, garages, playhouses).

Protecting openings from exits

Unenclosed exit stairs, ramps and decks leading to them, within:

  • 10ft horizontally,
  • 29ft below,
  • 16ft above openings (doors, windows)

Must be protected from fire within the building by changing windows to fixed wired glass or glass block and adding auto closers to doors. This could create egress problems from bedrooms as operable windows are required under the BC Building Code.


Maximum area and travel distance for egress within a suite with a single exit door:

  • In an unsprinklered building the maximum allowable area is 150m2. The maximum travel distance is 15m.
  • If exceeded, 2 exits are required (exit doors must swing out).

Emergency lighting is required to illuminate the path of travel from every area of building to the exit door.

Stairs & Guards

  • Guards 42” at landings and 36” at stairs, with 4” maximum openings
  • Stair rise between 5” & 7”, stair run minimum 11”
  • Minimum tread depth is 12” if a 1” nosing is installed.


  • Where renovation costs exceed 50% of assessed value of building, fire sprinklers are required.
  • Where an A2 occupancy exceeds 10% of the area of the storey it occupies, the classification of the entire building changes to A2 and triggers the requirement for structural upgrade to meet current seismic restraint requirements. A Structural engineer must evaluate the existing situation and design methods to increase the buildings seismic stability according to the NRC Guidelines for Seismic Evaluation of Existing buildings. Any component unable to withstand 60% of the current building code seismic loading criteria is targeted for upgrade.

Contact the City of Nanaimo Planning Division directly for Zoning requirements, the City of Nanaimo Fire Department directly for Fire Code requirements and the Vancouver Island Health Authority for their daycare requirements.


Economic Development Section

The Economic Development Office collects data about the local economy. The information that you provide is summarized and analyzed by the Economic Development Office to measure trends in the local economy.
Ownership Structure
Type of Business
Do you rent/lease or own your business premises?
Principle Markets

Personal information you provide on this form is collected under the authority of the Community Charter, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) and the Business Licence Bylaw. Your business name, civic address and business telephone number may be released in accordance with FOIPPA. Personal information will only be used by authorized staff to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally collected, or for a use consistent with that purpose. For further information regarding the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information, please contact the Legislative Services Department at 250-755-4405 or at

Mailing Address: City of Nanaimo, Business Licence Department,
455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo BC V9R 5J6
Phone: (250) 755-4482 Fax: (250) 755-4512

Last updated: August 12, 2017

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