People walking down the street

Get a business licence

If you want to have a business in the City of Vancouver, you need a business licence. 

Business owners are required to get a business licence, but not employees.

Types of businesses that require a business licence:

  • Commercial and industrial business: A business based within a building located in a commercial or industrial area of the City of Vancouver as defined in the Zoning and Development Bylaw
  • Home-based business: A business based in a dwelling located in a residential area in the City of Vancouver as defined in the Zoning and Development Bylaw
  • Out-of-town business: A business being carried on in the City of Vancouver, but with the business office located outside of Vancouver

Review types of businesses

Starting a small business

Key resources to help you plan, finance, register, locate, license, and operate your business in Vancouver.

How to apply

Step 1 - Contact us

If you're applying for a commercial business licence, call us first to check:

  • Location suitability
  • If zoning regulations allow the business to operate at the location you want
  • If the space meets building code requirements
  • The type of licence you should apply for

Phone 3-1-1

Outside Vancouver?
Phone: 604-873-7000

Step 2 - Apply

  • Fill out the appropriate business licence application form.
  • Get the documents you need to complete your business licence application.

Step 3 - Submit

Submit, either in person, email, or mail, your:

  • Application
  • Required documents
  • Application fee

Businesses not allowed in Vancouver

A person cannot apply for a licence for any business described in Schedule A of the Businesses Prohibition Bylaw.