British Columbia Nature

Local Businesses in British Columbia

Major British Columbia industries include:

  • Construction
  • Forestry
  • Agriculture
  • Film and Television
  • Mining
  • Tourism
  • High Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Fisheries & Aquaculture

A positive business climate can be advantageous to a province, helping to stimulate business formation and growth. Small business owners will often seek an ideal location to establish their operations, particularly given that much of the input to their production is derived from human capital. Lower levels of taxation have the potential to attract investment and encourage a skilled labour pool – both essential to small business growth.

B.C. compares favourably with other parts of the country in several key business stimulus indicators. The small business tax rate in B.C. (2.0% in 2019) remains among the lowest in Canada. B.C. boasts the lowest business bankruptcy rate in the country, another indicator of a favourable business environment.

In 2018, there were a total of 517,100 businesses operating in B.C. Of these, 508,700 (98%) were small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses operated by self-employed persons with no paid employees comprised 61 per cent of all businesses in the province, slightly below the national average (62%). Ontario, at 63%, had the highest share of businesses run by self-employed individuals with no paid help, while Newfoundland and Labrador had the smallest share, at just 38%.

Between 2014 and 2018, the largest growth in B.C. small businesses was seen among the specialty trade contractors industry, which added 2,186 net new businesses. Specialty trade contractors are typically sub-contractors for construction activities such as masonry, painting or electrical work. With an addition of 2,121 net new businesses over the same period, the professional, scientific and technical services industry was the second-fastest growing sector in the province.

Local Businesses in British Columbia
Local Businesses in British Columbia (download as PDF)

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Number of companies

18,650

Number of categories

1,888