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
Key resources to to help you start or expand 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
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:
- 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 By-law PDF file (40 KB).
Contact the business licence offices
Location to pay only:
Ground Floor, City Hall
453 West 12th Avenue
Monday to Friday
8:30am to 5:00pm
Location to pay and update licence information:
Development and Building Services Centre
515 West 10th Avenue
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm
8:30am to 4pm
PO Box 7878
Vancouver, BC V6B 4E2