Industry Regulations: Know Which Ones Apply to Your Small Business

Do you know what regulations govern your small business’ industry? Your business is your livelihood and you want to make sure you play by the rules in order to legally protect yourself and your employees.

It’s important to start your business off on the right foot and make sure you comply with all of federal, provincial and municipal laws surrounding business start-up. As you grow – and especially as you add staff or expand sales of your products and services – you’ll need to be aware of even more regulations that will impact the way you run your business.

Use the resources below to find out which regulations apply to your business.

Your First Stop:

Apart from registering your business and obtaining a license from the city hall in the municipality where you business is located, you may require other permits and licenses depending on where you live and on the nature of your business.

If you’re starting or currently operating a business, should be your first stop to find out what licenses and permits may be required for your industry based on your municipality.

Hiring Employees?

If you plan to or have already hired employees, you’ll want to visit BC’s Employment Standards Branch. Particularly if your business involves live-in caregivers, foreign workers, farm labour contractors, or employment and talent representation, you’ll want to take a look at the Specific Industries page on the Employment Standards Branch website.

Industry Regulations

There are numerous regulations that apply to the sale of specific products and services in Canada. See if any apply to yours:

Consumer Goods and Services:

Health Canada – For businesses that sell consumer products, health and beauty products and drugs

Competition Bureau – For information on product packaging and labelling requirements, as well as CA number registrations (for textile labelling).

Consumer Protection BC – For information on licensing requirements for cemetery and funeral services, debt collection, home inspectors, motion pictures, payday lending, telemarketers and travel service businesses.

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada – For any money services business (e.g. foreign exchange companies, money transferring, cashing or selling money orders and traveller’s cheques).

Community Care Licensing – For information about operating a daycare out of your home.

Industry Regulations for Restaurants and Food Processing:

Canadian Restaurant and Food Service Association – For information on current food service industry issues and regulatory changes specific to BC.

Small-Scale Food Processing – For information on catering and using your home kitchen to prepare food intended for sale.

BC Centre for Disease Control – For information on food safety.

Hair Salons and Day Spas:

BC Ministry of Health – For guidelines on operating personal care establishments such as hair salons, health spas and tanning salons.

BeautyCouncil – For professionals in the cosmetology industry.


Front Counter BC – For natural resource licensing requirements.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency – For businesses whose operations may have environmental implications.

Construction and Trades:

WorkSafe BC – For information on workplace safety and workplace insurance.

Skilled Trades BC – For information skilled trades training and credentialing in BC.

BC Safety Authority – For information on the safe installation and operation of technical systems, as well as permits, approvals and design registrations.

BC Building and Safety Standards Branch – For information on safety regulations related to the design, construction and occupancy of buildings.


Destination BC Resources – For tourism operators, communities and sectors that want to grow their tourism-related business.

Association of Canadian Travel Agencies – For information on operating a travel agency in Canada.

Here to Help

No matter what stage of business, or what problem you face, Small Business BC offers a range of seminars and one-on-one advisory sessions to suit any business.

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