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Comprehensive Guide to Registering for Business Licenses in Greater Vancouver Cities

Comprehensive Guide to Registering for Business Licenses in Greater Vancouver Cities

Starting a business in Greater Vancouver requires navigating various municipal regulations, including obtaining a business license. This guide provides detailed information on where and how to register for a business license across several Greater Vancouver cities, as well as the associated costs. Don’t worry at Ark and Mason, we’ve worked with countless business in their early phases including registering for a business. Here are some guidelines and places to go if you are thinking about start a business in Vancouver or its surrounding areas.

Introduction to Vancouver Business Licenses

Acquiring a business license is a crucial step for entrepreneurs looking to establish their businesses in Greater Vancouver. This guide will walk you through the registration processes and costs for obtaining a business license in major cities within the region, such as Vancouver, Burnaby, and North Vancouver. Whether you’re asking, “How to get a business license in Vancouver BC?” or looking for specific costs, we have you covered.

business license vancouver bc1

Vancouver BC Business License

How to Get a Business License in Vancouver BC

To obtain a business license in Vancouver, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine the License Type: Identify the specific type of license your business requires by visiting the City of Vancouver’s business license page.
  2. Application Form: Complete the business license application form available on the City of Vancouver’s website.
  3. Supporting Documents: Gather and submit any required supporting documents, such as proof of zoning compliance and business name registration.
  4. Submit Application: Submit your completed application form and documents either online or in-person at the BC Business Licensing Office in Vancouver.
  5. Payment: Pay the applicable fees. The cost for a Vancouver business license varies depending on the type and size of the business.

Costs for a Vancouver BC Business License

The costs for obtaining a business license in Vancouver can range from $50 to over $1,000, depending on the business category and size. For precise fee details, refer to the City of Vancouver’s fee schedule.

Burnaby Business License

How to Register

  1. Business License Application: Download and complete the application form from the City of Burnaby’s website.
  2. Submit the Form: Submit your application either online, by mail, or in person at Burnaby City Hall.
  3. Required Approvals: Ensure that you have all necessary approvals from various departments, such as fire and health inspections if applicable.
  4. Fee Payment: Pay the required fees, which are determined based on your business type and size.

Costs for a Burnaby Business License

Business license fees in Burnaby generally start at $50 for small businesses but can be higher for larger enterprises. Detailed fee information is available on the City of Burnaby’s website.

North Vancouver Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Access the business license application form on the City of North Vancouver’s website.
  2. Complete and Submit: Fill out the application and submit it along with any required documents.
  3. Approval Process: Await approvals from relevant departments, which may include zoning, health, and fire services.
  4. Payment: Pay the business license fee once your application is approved.

Costs for a North Vancouver Business License

The cost of a business license in North Vancouver varies but typically starts at $80. For a detailed breakdown of fees, it depends on the business but here is the download for North Vancouver Business License Costs/Fees.

West Vancouver Business License

How to Register

  1. Determine Requirements: Check the specific requirements for your business type on the District of West Vancouver’s website.
  2. Complete Application: Fill out the application form available online.
  3. Submit Documents: Submit the application and any required documentation.
  4. Pay Fees: Pay the appropriate license fees as indicated on the website.

Costs for a West Vancouver Business License

Fees for a business license in West Vancouver can range from $100 to $500 depending on the business category. For more information, visit the District of West Vancouver’s business license fees page.

Richmond Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Obtain the business license application form from the City of Richmond’s website.
  2. Complete and Submit: Complete the form and submit it along with necessary documents.
  3. Approval Process: Your application will be reviewed and may require approvals from various departments.
  4. Fee Payment: Pay the required business license fees upon approval.

Costs for a Richmond Business License

Richmond business license fees start at $60 and vary based on the type and size of the business. Detailed fee information is available on the City of Richmond’s website.

Surrey Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Process: Visit the City of Surrey’s website to understand the application process.
  2. Complete Application: Fill out the business license application form.
  3. Document Submission: Submit the application along with any required documents.
  4. Pay Fees: Pay the applicable fees as detailed on the website.

Costs for a Surrey Business License

Business license fees in Surrey start at approximately $100 but can vary based on business specifics. For exact fees, refer to the City of Surrey’s fee schedule.

Coquitlam Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Details: Access detailed application instructions on the City of Coquitlam’s website.
  2. Submit Application: Complete and submit the application form with required documents.
  3. Approval: Wait for the application to be reviewed and approved.
  4. Payment: Pay the business license fee.

Costs for a Coquitlam Business License

Business license fees in Coquitlam start around $75, with variations depending on the type and size of the business. More details are available on the City of Coquitlam’s website.

New Westminster Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Process: Visit the City of New Westminster’s website for application details.
  2. Fill Out Form: Complete the business license application form.
  3. Submit Required Documents: Provide any necessary supporting documents.
  4. Payment: Pay the applicable fees upon approval.

Costs for a New Westminster Business License

Fees for business licenses in New Westminster start at $65. For a complete fee schedule, visit the City of New Westminster’s website.

Port Moody Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Access and complete the business license application form from the City of Port Moody’s website.
  2. Document Submission: Submit the form along with required documents.
  3. Approval: Your application will be reviewed by various city departments.
  4. Fee Payment: Pay the business license fee.

Costs for a Port Moody Business License

Business license fees in Port Moody vary but generally start at $75. Detailed fee information is available on the City of Port Moody’s website.

If you are still waiting for your business license to check the status you can view the information page here.

Port Coquitlam Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Obtain and fill out the application form from the City of Port Coquitlam’s website.
  2. Submit Application: Submit the completed form with required documents.
  3. Approval Process: Await necessary approvals from city departments.
  4. Payment: Pay the applicable business license fees.

Costs for a Port Coquitlam Business License

The cost for a business license in Port Coquitlam typically starts at $70. For more details, refer to the City of Port Coquitlam’s fee schedule.

business license vancouver bc

FAQ: Getting a Business License in Vancouver

How to get a business license in Vancouver BC?

To get a business license in Vancouver BC, you need to determine the type of license required, complete the application form, gather supporting documents, submit the application either online or in person, and pay the required fees. The City of Vancouver provides detailed guidance and resources to help businesses through the process.

Do RMTs need a business license in Vancouver BC?

Yes, Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) in Vancouver BC do need a business license to operate legally. The process involves applying for a professional service business license through the City of Vancouver, which ensures that all regulatory requirements are met.

Langley Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Process: Begin by visiting the City of Langley’s website to access the application form and understand the requirements.
  2. Complete Application: Fill out the application form accurately.
  3. Submit Documents: Submit the form along with any required documents either online, by mail, or in person.
  4. Approval and Payment: Upon approval, pay the necessary fees.

Costs for a Langley Business License

Business license fees in Langley typically start around $80 but can vary based on the type and scope of the business. Detailed fee schedules are available on the City of Langley’s website.

Delta Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Access the business license application form from the City of Delta’s website.
  2. Complete and Submit: Fill out the form and submit it along with any required documents.
  3. Approval Process: Your application will be reviewed and may require departmental approvals.
  4. Pay Fees: Pay the applicable business license fees once your application is approved.

Costs for a Delta Business License

The fees for a business license in Delta vary, starting around $75. More detailed information can be found on the City of Delta’s website.

Maple Ridge Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Details: Visit the City of Maple Ridge’s website for detailed application instructions.
  2. Submit Application: Complete and submit the application form with the necessary documents.
  3. Approval and Payment: Pay the required fees after your application is reviewed and approved.

Costs for a Maple Ridge Business License

Fees for business licenses in Maple Ridge generally start at $85, with variations based on the business category. For more detailed fee information, refer to the City of Maple Ridge’s website.

Pitt Meadows Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Access the application form on the City of Pitt Meadows’ website.
  2. Complete and Submit: Fill out and submit the form along with any required documents.
  3. Approval: Your application will be reviewed for necessary approvals.
  4. Payment: Pay the business license fee once approved.

Costs for a Pitt Meadows Business License

The cost of a business license in Pitt Meadows starts at approximately $70. For more details, visit the City of Pitt Meadows’ website.

White Rock Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Process: Visit the City of White Rock’s website to understand the application process and download the form.
  2. Submit Application: Complete and submit the application form along with necessary documents.
  3. Approval and Fee Payment: Pay the required fees upon approval of your application.

Costs for a White Rock Business License

Business license fees in White Rock start around $100 and vary depending on the business type. Detailed fee schedules are available on the City of White Rock’s website.

New Westminster Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Process: Visit the City of New Westminster’s website for application details.
  2. Fill Out Form: Complete the business license application form.
  3. Submit Required Documents: Provide any necessary supporting documents.
  4. Payment: Pay the applicable fees upon approval.

Costs for a New Westminster Business License

Fees for business licenses in New Westminster start at $65. For a complete fee schedule, visit the City of New Westminster’s website.

Port Moody Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Access and complete the business license application form from the City of Port Moody’s website.
  2. Document Submission: Submit the form along with required documents.
  3. Approval: Your application will be reviewed by various city departments.
  4. Fee Payment: Pay the business license fee.

Costs for a Port Moody Business License

Business license fees in Port Moody vary but generally start at $75. Detailed fee information is available on the City of Port Moody’s website.

Port Coquitlam Business License

How to Register

  1. Application Form: Obtain and fill out the application form from the City of Port Coquitlam’s website.
  2. Submit Application: Submit the completed form with required documents.
  3. Approval Process: Await necessary approvals from city departments.
  4. Payment: Pay the applicable business license fees.

Costs for a Port Coquitlam Business License

The cost for a business license in Port Coquitlam typically starts at $70. For more details, refer to the City of Port Coquitlam’s fee schedule.

Common Requirements for Business Licenses in Greater Vancouver

While each city has its specific requirements and processes, several common elements are required across all municipalities in Greater Vancouver:

  • Completed Application Form: Ensure that all sections of the application form are filled out accurately.
  • Supporting Documents: These may include proof of zoning compliance, business name registration, and health or safety inspections.
  • Approval from Relevant Departments: This often involves approvals from fire, health, and zoning departments.
  • Fee Payment: Business license fees vary based on business type and size, and must be paid upon application approval.

Summary of Getting a Business License in Vancouver, BC

We’ve worked with tons of clients who thought the process of obtaining a business license in Greater Vancouver can seem daunting, but with the right information, it becomes manageable. Each city has its own set of requirements, fees, and processes, but they all aim to ensure that businesses operate legally and safely. Whether you’re establishing a new enterprise in Vancouver, Burnaby, or any other city in the region, understanding these requirements will help you get started on the right foot.

When you are ready to start building and designing your dream business, please feel free to reach out to your friends and Ark and Mason, we love brining your dream business to life.

business license surrey

FAQs

How long does it take to get a business license?

The process and time required to obtain a business license in cities within Greater Vancouver can vary. Here’s a summary of the typical process and timeframes for some key cities:

City of Vancouver:

  1. Application Submission: Business owners can apply online, which helps in tracking the status and receiving updates. Necessary documents include government-issued photo ID and, if applicable, incorporation documents.
  2. Processing Time: The review process time varies depending on the type of business and the time of year, typically taking longer during fall and winter. It generally includes reviews by various departments, such as building, zoning, and health inspections.
  3. Approval and Issuance: Once all reviews and inspections are complete, the business owner will be sent a bill. After payment, the business license is issued. The overall process can take several weeks to a few months depending on the complexity of the business and the current workload of the licensing office​ (City of Vancouver)​​ (City of Vancouver)​.

City of North Vancouver:

  1. Application Submission: Applications can be submitted via email or at City Hall. Required documents include detailed business information and, if necessary, additional compliance confirmations for home offices.
  2. Processing Time: The application is reviewed internally, possibly including inspections by various departments like building, electrical, and fire services. If all inspections pass, a business license invoice is issued.
  3. Approval and Issuance: After payment, the business license is issued. This process typically spans several weeks to a few months​ (City of North Vancouver)​.

City of Burnaby and Richmond: Both cities have similar processes involving online applications, departmental reviews, and necessary inspections. The average processing time is about 4 to 6 weeks, but this can vary based on the business type and the completeness of the application.

For businesses operating across multiple municipalities, the Metro West Inter-municipal Business License allows for a single license valid in participating cities (Burnaby, Delta, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, and Vancouver), streamlining the process for those operating in multiple locations.

For detailed and specific timelines, it is recommended to consult the respective city’s business licensing office or their official websites.

How to get a business license in Vancouver BC?

To get a business license in Vancouver BC, you need to determine the type of license required, complete the application form, gather supporting documents, submit the application either online or in person, and pay the required fees. The City of Vancouver provides detailed guidance and resources to help businesses through the process.

What documents are required for a business license in Greater Vancouver?

Commonly required documents include a completed application form, proof of zoning compliance, business name registration, health or safety inspections, and any specific documents related to the type of business.

How long does it take to get a business license in Greater Vancouver?

The processing time can vary, but generally, it takes between two to four weeks. This can depend on the complexity of the business and the time required for departmental approvals.

Are business license fees refundable if my application is denied?

Most cities in Greater Vancouver do not refund business license fees if an application is denied. It’s important to ensure all requirements are met and documents are correctly submitted to avoid this scenario.

Can I operate my business while my application is being processed?

No, you must wait until you receive your official business license before commencing operations. Operating without a license can result in fines and other penalties.

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