As of Jan. 1, plumbers, caterers, contractors and cleaning services will no longer have to pay big money for multiple business licences - or deal with the paperwork - to operate in areas outside Nanaimo.
A bylaw for inter-community business licensing was passed in the city and is expected to pass across the board in 11 surrounding municipalities in coming weeks. Right now, anyone who does business in multiple districts must have a business licence for each one.
With the upcoming changes, businesses will get a single primary licence for the location they are based, and an additional inter-community licence for $150.
Nelda Richardson, who manages business licensing for the City of Nanaimo, said the change will not only save headaches for businesses, but it will stop them from operating illegally.
"Many people have just not obtained licenses (while continuing to do business in various municipalities)," she said.
"Typically it's the contractors that get caught because they have to apply for building permits."
Richardson said the new system will save some people hundreds of dollars in fees.
The cost of primary business licenses differs from place to place, but it is typically around $100. The City of Nanaimo will be ready to accept applications for inter-community licences by December.
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