Five Questions To Determine If It Is Commercial Work
What we’re really asking is “Do I need an SFOC”, but so many people use the recreational exemption that we need to address what counts as commercial work.
1. Has any money changed hands?
It doesn’t matter if you're charging for your services, your time, or mileage, as soon as money changes hands its commercial work.
2. Has another business asked me to provide imagery?
If someone asks you to provide imagery that they intend to use for commercial purposes you are doing commercial work.
3. Am I getting anything in return?
Are you trading your work for something else? That’s the same thing as getting paid. Are you doing it for ‘exposure’ or credit? According to Transport Canada this still counts as commercial work because you are using it to generate income in the future.
4. Will I be using this in my portfolio?
Whether you maintain a website or just post photos on a business Facebook page this still counts as using work to generate income in the future and is considered commercial. You need an SFOC while portfolio building.
5. Am I flying for any reason other than the joy of flying?
This is what it really comes down to: am I doing this for fun, or is there some other benefit to my work? If it's purely entertainment then you're good to go.
When it comes to drones ‘commercial use’ has a pretty broad definition. There is no getting around it. The best thing you can do is to apply for an SFOC so the commercial work question doesn’t matter.