What's Required to be a Construction Contractor in BC?

Note: This Guide is intended to provide some basic information and is only an introductory guideline for those who may be newcomers to the construction sector in British Columbia. BCCA takes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. Professional counsel should be retained to provide comprehensive advice on doing business in British Columbia.

Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Sector (ICI Sector)

Licensing Requirements
Other than a Business License that may be required by a Municipality or Regional District, in which a company is working, there are no comprehensive licensing requirements for the ICI Sector in BC.

There are licensing requirements for trade contractors who fall under the requirements of the BC Safety Authority. These are for the most part only those trades that require life safety installations such as electrical, gas and elevators.

Workers Compensation
For requirements refer to WorkSafeBC.

Other Requirements
A small sampling of other requirements that relate to construction that it may be advisable to be familiar with are:

  • Labour Standards
  • Labour Relations Code (at this time contractors are not required by any legislation to be signatory to a labour agreement in BC)
  • Federal and Provincial Tax Laws
  • Safety Act
  • Environmental Requirements
  • BC Building Code
  • Municipal By-Laws and Regulations
  • Environmental Laws or Acts
  • Hazardous Waste Management Laws or Acts
  • Builders Lien Act

Because of the complexity of the construction sector it may be advisable to engage the counsel of a professional. The Resource Information below provides some references for sources of professional services.

Resource Information

Construction Safety Association of BC
The BC Construction Safety Alliance (BCCSA) is a non-profit organization that is owned and operated by the construction industry of British Columbia. Its goal is to reduce the number and duration of workplace injuries and to lower contractor costs.

BCCA Member Law Firms
Many law firm members of BCCA specialize in construction law - find the Regional Construction Association nearest to you and view their Member Directory, filtering by 'Allied Services'.

BCCA Member Accounting Firms
Accounting firms that are members of BCCA can advise on GST (Goods and Services Tax), and other tax issues - find the Regional Construction Association nearest to you and view their Member Directory, filtering by 'Allied Services'.

 

Multi Family Residential Construction Sector

Licensing Requirements
As well as local Business Licence requirements and Trade Contractor Safety requirements, there may be additional requirements from BC Housing. BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province. They also license residential builders, administer owner builder authorizations and carry out research and education that benefits the residential construction industry, consumers and the affordable housing sector. Learn how to become a Licensed Residential Builder with BC Housing.

Other Requirements and Resources
Refer to the information above for the ICI Sector.

 

Single Family Residential Construction Sector

Licensing Requirements
As well as local Business Licence requirements and Trade Contractor Safety requirements, there may be additional requirements from BC Housing. BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province. They also license residential builders, administer owner builder authorizations and carry out research and education that benefits the residential construction industry, consumers and the affordable housing sector. Learn how to become a Licensed Residential Builder with BC Housing.

Canadian Homebuilders Association of BC
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia (CHBA-BC) represents residential contractors and associated service providers in B.C.

Other Requirements and Resources
Refer to the information above for the ICI Sector.

 

 

 

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