Different businesses need different business licences in Vancouver

Types of businesses

Any organization doing business in or from Vancouver must have a business licence.

To find out what permits and licences you might need, including provincial and federal, as well as municipal requirements, visit BizPal .

If your business is located outside of Vancouver, but you still conduct business within the city, you will need a Vancouver business licence.

Find issued business licences in our Open Data Portal.

Important: Your business and your location

Before you purchase or sign a lease for your business location, check with the Development and Building Services Centre first to make sure that you will be able to conduct your type of business in those premises.

There are different requirements under the Zoning & Development Bylaw and the Building Bylaw for different uses. Each space in a building has its own specified approved use and sometimes the use of that space cannot be changed without an approval or a permit, or both.

We're modernizing business licensing

Effective May 6, 2024: We are streamlining over 500 different licensing types to under 100. 

No action is required for businesses with existing licensing.

Your business licence will be:

  • Automatically transferred into the new licence type
  • Reflected on the 2025 licence

Find your existing business category and its corresponding new category on this list (240 KB)

Learn more about this change (496 KB)

Cannabis retail store business licence

Find approved locations, apply to operate a cannabis retail store in Vancouver, and learn how we regulate these types of businesses.

Clothing donation bin

Apply for a clothing donation bin business licence. Review the requirements and how to apply.

Liquor-serving establishments

Because of the social and legal impacts of serving alcohol, restaurants, pubs, and clubs in Vancouver have more licensing requirements.

Home-based business licence

A home-based business is an office in your own home. Read the requirements and apply for a business licence.

Residential rental properties

A business licence is required for all residential property rentals. We have 3 licences based on how long you'll rent it and if you live there.

Vehicles for hire

Get the requirements and apply for a vehicles for hire licence to transport people or goods in Vancouver.

Trades and construction

You can get a business licence that allows you to work trades in six cities throughout Metro Vancouver.

Developing a childcare centre

Get our guidelines and best practices for creating high quality, licensed childcare facilities in Vancouver, and apply for available grants.

Contact the Licence Office

Contact us online

Appointment required
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground Floor
515 West 10th Avenue

Mailing address
Revenue Services
PO Box 7878
Vancouver, BC V6B 4E2