When starting your business or looking to expand in to a new municipality, it is important to identify the key permits and licences which will apply to your business. While not all businesses may need a licence before they operate, it is important to do your due diligence to make sure you start off on the right foot.
BizPaL is an online tool developed managed by the Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. Designed to cut through the paperwork burden of small business owners, it can help you assess the permits and licences you need for your specific municipality.
How to Use BizPaL
BizPaL can be accessed at bcbizpal.ca. Once on the site you will be asked to provide the city or municipality of your business and your type of business e.g. catering, construction etc.
When completed, the tool will generate a customized list of permits and licences that may apply to your business.
You can then go through this list and assess which are the most relevant for your specific situation and add them to your ‘briefcase’. Once finished, click on the briefcase and the tool will ask you if you want to print or email the relevant forms for you to complete.
Which Permits and Licences are covered by BizPaL?
BizPaL pulls information from all three levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal.
Permits and licences are identified based on the industry sectors defined by the province. It is therefore important to be as specific as you can when identifying your industry.
Even if your business is already operating, the tool can be used to verify that the permits and licences you have are valid and relevant, in case any were missed when you were first setting up your business.
Benefits of BizPaL
- Availability. Time is often a commodity during business hours for small business owners, so finding time to visit your local city hall can be hard. As an online tool BizPaL is available 24/7. So even if your only free time is at midnight on a Sunday you can use it
- Time Saving. With access to licences and permits across all departments of government, your need to contact each of these departments is greatly reduced. What used to take a full day now takes as little as 20 minutes. This means you spend less time searching and more time building your business.
- Getting it Right First Time. BizPaL streamlines regulatory approvals. That means that you know exactly what permits and licences are needed and can take steps to comply with them – ensuring you get it right the first time.
BizPaL can be accessed at bcbizpal.ca. For answers to your specific questions, you can contact BizPaL between 9 am and 5 pm in any time zone, at:
Alternatively make an appointment with one of our Business Advisors who can help guide you through the process.