New Mobile Business Licence cuts red tape, supports small businesses

Doing business in the Lower Mainland just got easier thanks to the new Metro-West Inter-Municipal Business Licence agreement.

The six participating municipalities – City of Burnaby, Corporation of Delta, City of New Westminster, City of Richmond, City of Surrey, and City of Vancouver – have worked together to adopt a common by-law allowing businesses to purchase an Inter-Municipal Business Licence (IMBL), also referred to as a Mobile Business Licence (MBL), for specified trades.

The Inter-Municipal Business Licence reduces red tape by allowing mobile businesses to operate in more than one municipality by purchasing only one licence, rather than obtaining non-resident licences in each municipality in which they operate.

“Coming from an entrepreneurial background, I understand the need for cities to support small businesses by streamlining regulations and cutting red tape," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "The launch of this innovative new multi-city business license makes it easier do business in Vancouver’s growing economy and throughout our region, and builds on our work to make Vancouver even more competitive for new investment and jobs.”

The City of Vancouver has worked to reduce the number of business licence categories from 636 to less than 200, while processing times for single-family home applications have also been slashed from 15-18 weeks to 6-8 weeks. These efficiencies contributed to 2012 being a record year for the total value of building permits in Vancouver, with over $2.5 billion in new construction activity.

The Mobile Business Licence was successfully piloted in 2007 by 17 communities in the Okanagan-Similkameen. Since the program’s launch, a total of 58 municipalities have established Mobile Business Licence Agreements in their communities.

“As a former mayor, I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of a mobile business licence in my own community," said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education. "These agreements help small business operators get out and do their jobs – while building local economies – instead of sitting at a desk filling out extra forms.”