Learn how to start up your business in Surrey with these business tools and resources.
Use the following business resources to help you start or your grow your business in Surrey.
Contact our Economic Development Office at 604-591-4128 if you have any questions along the way.
Resources for Starting or Growing a Business
Starting a business takes vision, passion and most importantly, a plan. There are many resources that can help you start your business in Surrey.
- BizPaL shows you a customized list of permits and licences you may require from all levels of government.
- The Government of Canada provides information on government services, programs, and regulations related to existing and future entrepreneurs.
- Small Business BC provides entrepreneurs access to products and services assisting in starting a successful business.
- BC Business Registry helps organizations with incorporating and managing companies, and registering general partnerships and sole proprietorships.
- The Surrey Board of Trade Business Resource Centre helps with business name approvals and registrations.
- The provincial government has translated its Small Business Guides in various languages.
Deciding on your Business Structure
Choose which type of business structure best suits your business. Examples include: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, society, cooperative or social enterprise.
The type of structure you choose for your business determines liability and tax implications, and succession planning. If you’re uncertain about which structure is right for your business, a lawyer or an accountant can help you choose.
Registering your Business
The first step in incorporating or registering your business is to get the approval of your business name. Go to Name Requests Online to submit your Name Approval Request electronically.
Once you've been notified that your business name has been approved, you have 56 calendar days to register your business name or complete your incorporation process.
To register your business, use the BC Registries and Online Services portal.
Need help? The Surrey Board of Trade Business Resource Centre can help with name approvals and registrations.
Registering a corporation
Follow the steps on self-incorporation at Corporate Online, or get incorporated through your lawyer.
Registering a society or co-operative
Visit the BC Corporate Registry to register a society or co-operative.
Applying for your Business Licence
The City of Surrey requires that all businesses in Surrey hold a valid business licence. There are three types of businesses that the City of Surrey licences:
- Commercial or Industrial Businesses operate from commercial or industrial premises
- Home-Based Businesses operate from a private residence
- Non-Resident Businesses have no location in Surrey, but provide on-site services (e.g., plumbers, electricians, general contractors, engineers, etc.)
Before a business licence is issued, the business must conform to all applicable City of Surrey business bylaws and regulations.
Financing your Business
You might need to secure financing before you start your business in the form of personal savings, commercial loans or equity investments.
- Small Business BC outlines various federal and provincial government programs to finance your business.
- Trade and Invest British Columbia defines the different government incentives for various sectors.
- The Government of Canada offers a search for available government loan and grant programs that help you to start, buy or expand your business.
- Business Development Bank of Canada provides consulting advice and financial support to entrepreneurs to start a business.
Incentives from the Province
- Trade and Invest British Columbia offers many tax incentives for businesses across the province in various sectors.
- Advantage BC offers various incentives to corporations and key staff conducting international activities from BC.
- For general manufacturing, no sales tax is collected on purchases of production machinery and equipment.
Funding from the Federal Government
The Government of Canada offers various grants and loans for all types of business owners. For example, check out the:
- Canadian Newcomer Entrepreneur Program
- Women’s Enterprise Initiative Loan Program
- Canada Small Business Financing Program
Depending on the type of business you're starting, you may be required to meet additional requirements and obtain other permits.
- Register to collect PST if your business sells or leases taxable goods, or provides software or taxable services.
- If you plan to hire employees, review the Employment Standards Branch.
- For payroll deductions account, visit the Canada Revenue Agency Business Registration website.
- For insurance premiums to cover employees in case of work-related injuries, register with WorkSafeBC.
- For importing/exporting, register with the Canada Revenue Agency.
Choosing a Location for your Business
Before committing to a location or buying or leasing a building in Surrey, check to make sure your business type is permitted in that location.
Check the business licence regulations to determine zoning requirements for your business type. If you require a rezoning application, building permit or tenant improvements, review information from the Planning and Building Department.
Relocating or Expanding your Business to Surrey
Surrey’s strategic location, availability of talent, culture of innovation, and metropolitan transformation offers many business advantages for your next move. If you’re an investor or business owner, visit our advanced site selector tool to couple available land and space inventory with strategic market insights.
For further commercial/industrial land and space inquiries, the City of Surrey’s Economic Development Division acts as your first point of contact.
If you are looking to expand or make improvements to your business facility, contact the Planning and Building Department directly to discuss permit requirements.
Go Green with your Business
Learn about the different ways you can make your business more sustainable with these eco-friendly business tips, programs and resources.