Vancouver Modernizes Business Licensing: Streamlined Categories for 2024

Vancouver Modernizes Business Licensing: Streamlined Categories for 2024


Effective May 6, 2024, Vancouver is overhauling its business licensing system by reducing over 500 different licensing types to fewer than 100. This modernization aims to simplify processes, reduce administrative burdens, and better support local businesses.

Key Changes

1. Automatic Transfer of Existing Licences:

  • Businesses will have their current licenses automatically transferred to the new streamlined categories without any required action.

2. Reflection in 2025 Licences:

  • The new categories will be reflected in the 2025 business licenses, allowing for a smooth transition.

Highlighted New Categories

  1. Adult-Oriented Services: Consolidates categories like adult retail stores and social escort services.
  2. Agriculture: Includes Urban Farm Class A and B.
  3. Arts, Culture, and Creative Industries: Encompasses a range of activities from artist studios to film production.
  4. Construction: Combines various contractor types under general and special trades.
  5. Digital Entertainment and ICT: Merges various computer services and telecommunications under broader categories.
  6. Dining and Drinking Establishments: Streamlines food and liquor establishments, including restaurants and venues.
  7. Education/Instruction: Includes arts, business, and sports instruction.
  8. Health and Beauty: Combines beauty services and health enhancement centers.
  9. Manufacturing and Catering: Covers both food and non-food manufacturing, including new categories for creative product manufacturers.
  10. Professional, Scientific, and Business Services: Encompasses a wide range of services from consulting to financial services.
  11. Retail Trade: Simplifies various retail dealer licenses, including food markets and cannabis retail.


  1. Simplified Process: Reduces the number of license types, making application and renewal easier.
  2. Enhanced Clarity: Provides clearer guidelines on licensing requirements.
  3. Improved Efficiency: Allocates resources more effectively and supports businesses better.


Vancouver’s business licensing modernization is a crucial step toward a more efficient and supportive environment for local businesses. By simplifying and streamlining the system, the city is fostering a business-friendly atmosphere, allowing entrepreneurs to focus more on their operations.

For detailed information on the new licensing categories, you can download the PDF here: Vancouver Business Licensing PDF and Council Document.


Let us know if you have any questions.


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