Starting a Business in Victoria BC

Photo Credit: Paul Sableman

Starting a new business is an exciting time that requires careful planning. In order to ensure your grand opening goes off without a hitch there are a few things you will need to know.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is my business located in the City of Victoria?

a. Greater Victoria is comprised of 13 municipalities. Use the City of Victoria’s VicMap tool to determine if your business is located in the City of Victoria.

2. What do I need to apply for a business licence?

a. A registered business name with the Province of BC.

b. A business address (either residential for home-based business or commercial) in the City of Victoria.

c. If you are conducting a food-based business, approvals from Island Health will be required.

d. If you are serving Liquor, you will be required to fill out an occupant load application and obtain a liquor licence from the BC Liquor Control and Licensing

e. If you are conducting business in other municipalities within Greater Victoria, you will need to check “inter-municipal” on the application form.

3. What do I need to know regarding zoning?

a. If your legal use is permitted in the zone your business will be located in. You can locate this information in the zoning bylaw which can be found when searching for your business address on VicMap. Alternatively, contact staff at the Business Hub or in Zoning.

b. If there is a parking requirement.

4. What if the zoning allows for my use, but, currently has an occupancy permit for a different use?

a. You will need to apply for a change of use. This can involve applying for building permits through Permits and Inspections at City Hall.

If you are a business owner or considering starting a business in Victoria we invite you to join us at the 3rd annual SOHO Victoria on January 26, 2018.  The most productive day you’ll have all year!

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