Business Licences and Permits
Business Licensing promotes safe and legitimate business premises and operations within New Westminster. Its primary functions are to provide initial advice for new businesses, to process business licence applications within the context of New Westminster’s regulatory requirements, and to maintain an up-to-date database on existing businesses in the city.
Every business in New Westminster is required to have a valid business licence before beginning operation. This includes home-based businesses, commercial and industrial operations, and owners of apartment rental properties. Business licences are also required for companies that are not located in the city, but do work within New Westminster (e.g., contractors).
Business Licensing renews approximately 4,000 business licences each year and also issues licences for liquor establishments.
If you need to renew your business licence, you can do so online. Please contact Business Licensing at or 604-527-4565 for more information or check out the website for instructions on how to sign up for MyCity.
Thinking of starting a business here? Here is a guide to help you in the process.
Once you've received your licence, we invite you to download the Business Licence Holder Resource Guide. It contains valuable information specific to business owners including contact information, policies, processes, and more!
In May 2022, the City approved a new Bylaw to govern Street and Sidewalk Patios. (8318, 2022).
This allows businesses to apply to encroach on public property for the purposes of a seating area to complement their food or beverage service business. Three new forms of patio have been defined: small patio, seasonal patio, and year-round patio.
When businesses apply, an interdepartmental team will review the application and work with the business to complete the process.
If liquor is being served, you will also need to apply to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
Have questions or need help? Email us at or call 604-527-4536
Before you sign a lease
- Prospective business owners who are applying for business licences should check with the Building, Planning and Licencing divisions on property they wish to lease or buy in regards to outstanding orders or issues pertaining to that property.
- Check with the Planning and Building Department to make sure your business is a permitted use on the site.
Change of Use
- Each space in a building has its own specific approved use and sometimes the use of that space cannot be changed without approval and/or permit.
Before you purchase a sign for your business
- Review the requirements of the Sign Bylaw with the Planning Division. More information about sign permits and bylaws can be found here.
Fire Inspection and Prevention Tips
This sheet with Fire Inspection Tips may be helpful as you set up your business and prepare for inspection.
Here are some general fire prevention and safety tips as well!
Opening a new business? Have questions on the process? Read our FAQ on business licensing to find out more about the steps you'll need to take prior to obtaining your licence.
Business Licence Fees for 2023 for new and renewing businesses.
Business Licensing Fees
Every business operating in the City of New Westminster - including those located in private residences (home-based) - are required to have a valid business licence. Registered non-profit societies delivering a service in the city are also encouraged to have a business licence (no fee is charged).
Annual Business Licence Fees
Business licence fees vary depending on the type of business being operated. Fees are determined by the number of people working, the specific type of business or other criteria as specified in the Business Licence Bylaw. Business licence fees are established to cover the cost of administration, bylaw/police enforcement and the necessary reviews and inspections to related bylaws concerning business operations.
In New Westminster, annual licence fees are outlined in the Schedule of Business Licence Fees, Bylaw No. 8293, 2021, and renewals are exempt from any application fee. All city departments are required to review their user fees and rates on an annual basis. For 2023, most business licence fees increased 2.4% to correspond with the rate of inflation (with the exception of Inter-Municipal Business Licences (IMBL) and Commercial Vehicle Fees for Taxis, in alignment with IMBL Transportation Network Services Bylaw).
Business Licence Renewals
All business licences expire on December 31 each year and most renew automatically. The City’s Business Licensing division sends licence renewal invoices in late-November each year to business owners and are due and payable by January 31 each year.
- Business owners can renew their business licence online quickly and easily by clicking here. Simply enter the account number and pay the balance due. A new business licence will be mailed to you once your payment has been processed.
Type of Business
Businesses at a commercial location
Contractors from different municipalities doing business within New Westminster
Home Based Businesses
Businesses operating from home
Home based businesses that are planning to sell prepared food at farmers markets must also get Fraser Health approval and follow their guidelines.
Trades contractors, or other professionals related to the construction industry, are eligible for a licence to work in more than one municipality.
Anyone owning residential property with the intent of renting out three or more units or suites requires a business licence
Annual or special event licence for food trucks.
The Food Truck Guide provides information about operating and participating in special events.
The following documents are required to make an application:
The Mobile Food Vending Licence Bylaw provides the basis for the food truck program.
The Street Vending Guide provides information about selling goods at specific locations
Different types of vending machines placed in specific locations
Child Care Facility
Anyone who wishes to run a child care facility in New Westminster
For more information on Child Care in New Westminster, visit the Child Care & Child Development webpage