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Business licensing in Vancouver

These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.

Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.

Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*

I want to provide or organise an Experience in the City of Vancouver. Will I need a business license? When will I need an additional business permit?

Any person carrying out a business activity (that is, an activity which is mainly intended to make a profit) in the City of Vancouver is required to obtain a business license. In some cases (depending on the type of business activity and/or the location in which it is being conducted) an additional business permit may be required.

You can find out more about the rules by looking at the License Bylaw 4450.

You can apply for a business license in person, by post or by email – and the application fee is currently $54. You can find out more about how to apply for a business licence, as well as how to contact the City of Vancouver’s business licensing team, on their business licensing website.

You will also find some information about the situations in which an additional business permit may be required on this page of the City of Vancouver’s website.

Note that there are certain activities which are prohibited under law and for which it is not possible to obtain a business licence – you can find a list of these here.

Is there anything else I should be thinking about?

Yes. Depending on the activity you will be providing or organising, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply to that activity. You may want to check the information pages we have created for some typical activities for the City of Vancouver.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to check which rules may apply to you with your local municipal authority or a legal professional. You may also want to check the tax and accounting rules which may apply to you, and look into whether you have the right insurance cover in place to cover all the activities you will be providing.

Also please note that if your Experience takes place in multiple locations, some of which are outside of the City of Vancouver limits, the laws and regulations which apply in those other locations may apply to your Experience. If you need more information or are unsure about anything, you may want to contact the local municipal authorities in which your Experience will take place for more information, or speak to a legal professional.

*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).