Published: Dec 3, 2018
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2019
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Learn About Compliance Issues

When it comes to starting a business, one of the first decisions you need to make is the legal structure of your business - sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited company. You'll also need to register your business and you'll need to be aware of many municipal, provincial or federal regulations. The websites in this section will help you, there is also a useful “Restaurant and catering start-up checklist” list available from Canada Business .

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Permits and Licenses Search
Search for the permits and licenses applicable to your industry and location to meet all federal, provincial and municipal regulations.

General Business Resources

Small Business BC (SBBC)
SBBC is a great place to start for information on BC specific regulations and guidelines, for whatever stage you are in your business development. This is a great post on the topic.

This is the one-stop website to assist Canadian businesses that are just starting up, or expanding into new areas. BizPaL asks you a short series of questions about the nature and scope of your current or proposed business. Based on your answers, BizPaL provides you with a customized list of government permits and licences that you may require to operate your business. All of the information that you provide is kept anonymous, and you may save or print your results for future reference.

Canada Revenue Agency - Business
This section of the Canadian federal tax agency's website contains important taxation and documentation requirements that businesses operating in Canada must adhere to.

The Province of British Columbia
Provides information on programs and resources available to small business owners in British Columbia. Includes information on taxes and industry regulations. Start with the Permits, Licences & Registrations section.

In addition to general business licences, the restaurant industry requires specific licences and permits, examples include the Food Primary Licence and Food Service Permit.

Industry Specific Information

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian federal government agency dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants in order to enhance the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy.

Health Canada

Health Canada is the Federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health. Health Canada is engaged in various activities related to health, including preserving and modernizing Canada's health care system, enhancing and protecting the health of Canadians, and communicating health promotion and disease prevention.