Permits & Licences

A number of permits and licences are required to open and operate a restaurant in B.C. BizPaL is a tool that can help you find the permits and licences required from your local, provincial, or federal government.

On the following pages, you’ll learn more about the application process for each. Application processes may be time-consuming, and many involve one or more inspections of your premises. Begin each process as early as possible.

  • Health Operating Permit
    All food service businesses in B.C. must hold a valid Health Operating Permit, issued by their regional health authority.
  • Municipal Permits & Licences
    Most municipalities will require you to obtain a Business Licence to operate a restaurant. You may also be required to obtain permits to make structural changes to your premises, for mobile food vending, to provide outdoor seating, display exterior signage, and more.
  • Liquor Licences
    If you intend to serve alcohol at your restaurant, you will need to apply for a Liquor Licence.
  • Music & Entertainment Licences
    To play recorded music in your establishment, you’ll be required to obtain both Re:Sound and SOCAN licences.