The following info is presented in order to operate a Flower Shop in the center of Vancouver, BC. As it is a wholesale and retail operation it requires a Business license and PST/GST in order just to purchase the stock twice a week. In this example the owner would have a store for retail and would sell to other businesses, e.g. funeral homes and churches.

While BC strenuously promotes the use of online resources to the new entrepreneur, there is a large Small Business centre located in downtown Vancouver which provides one on one consulting, research information and services and affordable workshops

BizPal is the Online Business Permits and Licences Service. BizPaL helps you generate a personalized list of the business documents you need for the levels of government—local, provincial/territorial, and federal. This service asks you to answer a short series of questions about the nature and scope of your current or proposed business. Based on your answers, you will be provided with a customized list of potential permits and licences from all levels of government that you may require to operate your business. All of the information that you provide is done so anonymously.

For a wholesale business operating in British Columbia selling flowers. BizPal has automatically generated the following permits and licenses:

The following list of 11 Permits and Licences may be required for a General-Line Food Wholesaler-Distributors business located in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were based based on responses to a series of online questions and then generated automatically

List of Permits and Licences

1. Business Licence (Vancouver)

2. Sign Permit (Vancouver)

3. Awning Permit (Vancouver)

4. Street Use Permit * (Vancouver)

5. Municipal Vehicle Decal (Vancouver)

6. Commercial Vehicle Permit (Vancouver)

7. Vendor Certificate (British Columbia)

8. Commercial Vehicle Licence (British Columbia)

9. Commercial Trailer Licence * (British Columbia)

10. Import Permit (Canada)

11. Business Registration * (Canada)


Provincial sales tax must be obtained from

A GST and Business number can be obtained by going to the One Stop Business Centre online

Registering with WorkSafeBC has benefits and is a requirement.

Prior to opening the flower business in The City of Vancouver the proposed business activity must comply with the zoning bylaw. For zoning information 604-873-7613.

In some cases businesses offering a wide range of services or products may require more than one business licence. Permits and licences are required for all work carried out on a job by job basis. Call 604-873-7568.

A Building Permit may be required even if you are not intending to make any changes to your building or space.

There are multiple municipal jurisdictions in the greater Vancouver area. Prior to conducting your business activities please contact the City to confirm your business location is within the City of Vancouver boundaries. Call 604-873-7568.

If the business is going to operate as a corporation or has partners the owner should contact CRA or seek legal advice.

Employees hired by the flower shop have rights and benefits required by law. These are found at the Province of BC


A checklist of basic legal requirements for both the provincial and federal governments can be found at:

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