Business Licences

Please click one of the following links for further information on business licencing in the City of White Rock:

Business Licenses – Regulations

Commercial activity in the City of White Rock is regulated and authorized by White Rock Business Licence Bylaw 1997, No. 1510. This bylaw also provides information on how an individual can acquire a business licence with the City of White Rock, what fees are associated with any type of business licence, and under what conditions that they may operate.

All businesses, including registered non-profit operations and residential rental operations, are required to have a valid business licence. No person shall carry on a business for profit or gain within the City of White Rock without holding a valid licence for the business so carried on.

Business Licences – Inquiries and Complaints

For a prompt response to inquiries related to businesses and the licencing process, please contact the Licencing Clerk at (604) 541-2139 - or at licences@whiterockcity.ca.

If you have a complaint or any issues relating to the operation of a business, please contact Bylaw Enforcement at 604-541-2146 - or at bylaw@whiterockcity.ca.

Business Licences – FAQ

Please click one of the following hyperlinked FAQs for additional information:

How do I apply for a business licence?

Business Licence applications are available from the Planning & Development Services Department located on the lower level of City Hall or available for download at the following hyperlink.

As part of the application, and at time of application intake, applicants are required to:

  • Describe the nature of the proposed business
  • Provide the correct business address and/or mailing address
  • Give the correct number of employees (full and part-time)
  • Provide Provincial Government certificate of qualifications (if required)
  • Provide payment of the appropriate fee

Staff will only accept a full and complete application at time of submission at the front counter. Business licences are only valid for one year after the date of issuance.

How can I renew my business licence?

There are three ways to renew your business licence: through online payment, through mail, and in person at the Planning and Development Services Department.

  1. To pay online, you can connect through the City’s online portal service.
  2. To pay through mail or to pay in person, please send in your materials at the following address:

City of White Rock

Planning & Development Services Department

15322 Buena Vista Ave.

White Rock, BC  V4B 1Y6

If payment is received by mail, your business licence will be mailed to you within 7 to 10 business days after receipt of payment.

What is the general fee structure?

All business licence fees are set out in Schedule A of the White Rock Business Licence Bylaw 1997, No. 1510. Licences are issued and valid from date of purchase for one year.

For more information please contact our Business Licence Desk at (604) 541-2139 during office hours.

In what parts of the City can I operate my business?

Land use activities, including the operation of business and non-profit organizations, is further regulated by White Rock Zoning Bylaw, 2012, No. 2000 (the “Zoning Bylaw”). Depending on the zoning of the proposed location, your business may or may not be permitted.

To determine whether your type of business is permitted in the area you have chosen, please follow the listed instructions below:

  1. Use Schedule C – Zoning Map of the Zoning Bylaw, or White Rock's Online Mapping System,  to determine what the zoning of your property is.
  2. Once you’ve determined the zoning of your property, review the applicable zoning - and its list of permitted uses - in Section 6.0 - General Zones and Section 7.0 - Comprehensive Development Zones
  3. All italicized words in the Zoning Bylaw have a definition in Section 3.3 - Definitions. Please review these definitions to understand whether your use would be permitted.
  4. Certain uses are further regulated by use-specific provisions in Section 5.0 of the Zoning Bylaw.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Department through e-mail (planning@whiterockcity.ca) or by telephone (604-541-2136).

What other approvals might be required for my business?

Please be aware that an occupancy approval is required for all buildings that contain a business operation in the City of White Rock. A change in proposed occupancy, or any commercial improvements, would require a building permit. If you have any questions regarding this process, please check with the Permits Clerk at 604-541-2149, or through the City's Public Feedback Form system (Planning and Building).

Please be aware that your application may also be forwarded to the Planning & Development Services Department, the Fire Department, the RCMP, or to Fraser Health for further review and comment. It may also be necessary to obtain approval from the Health, Fire and/or RCMP departments before your Business Licence can be issued.

Sidewalk licenses (e.g. patios) and sign permits may also be required as part of your business. For additional information, please please check with the Permits Clerk at 604-541-2149, or through the City's Public Feedback Form system (Planning and Building).

Note: Staff strongly recommend sending in an inquiry prior to signing a lease.

What about liquor licencing?

Liquor licencing is regulated by the B.C. Liquor Control and Licencing Branch. If you have questions regarding a proposal that requires consultation from the City of White Rock (new liquor primary licences, patron entertainment endorsement, etc), please contact Planning directly at 604-541-2108 or at planning@whiterockcity.ca

Business Licences - Additional Resources

Starting a new business? The links below are a good resource to help you get started.

NOTICE: Business Licence Application Changes