What is a Trade License?
The trade license is an annual certification issued by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) giving approval for conduct of the trades in the city. Most business owners already operating or planning to operate in Colombo must apply for and receive a trade license (a list of all the trades required to be licensed is provided in in Section IV). The Treasurer's Department issues the license with recommendations of Fire Services Department, Public Health Department and the City Planning Division of the CMC. You should ideally receive your license within 25 days from the date the application is3submitted.
The trade license is issued annually and is operative on the first day of January and expires on the 31st of December. Your business will receive a license each year indicating that it has been approved to operate in the city.
What are the benefits of a License?
It is a mandatory legal requirement for specified trades to obtain a trade license prior to initiating operation. It is important for trades within the city to be regulated to ensure that they conform to the planned layout of the city and the citizens are not adversely affected by the operation of such trades. The regulations for trade licenses seek to ensure that proper health and safety standards are followed across the city.
A trade license is a form of assurance for your customers, employees and citizens of Colombo that your business has been put through a thorough process of certification and has been declared safe from fire hazards, health hazards and is in compliance of all regulations of the city. It is a brand of quality and adherence to the highest standards and speaks of the integrity with which your trade is carried out.
What if I do not have a License?
As you read this handbook, please keep in mind that it is also a legal requirement for any person operating business needs to obtain a license; else he/she shall be guilty of offence Non-compliance with this requirement renders the trade owner liable to prosecution. This can lead to a fine followed by closure of business.