Obtaining a BCeID (BC electronic Identification) is an important step when starting a BC liquor or cannabis business. As is the often the case when searching for government services, BCeID creates a lot of confusion. In this post, we’ll clarify as much as we can for you.
What is a BCeID?
A BCeID allows you to verify your business and securely access BC and federal government registrations and services required by your business from one place.
Examples of services you can register for and manage from your BCeID account include:
- Corporate income tax
- Payroll deductions
- Import-export account registrations
- Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Services (e.g. license renewals)
Steps to Starting a BC Liquor or Cannabis Business
- Business Name Search
The first step in setting up a business is deciding on the business name. First, you’ll need do a business name search at the BC Registries Name Request portal to ensure the business name is not already in use. If the business name is available, you can register the name at BC Registries. You can also conduct a business name search at OneStop service counters, the Service BC website, or by completing and mailing the business name approval request form. Your BC liquor or non-medical cannabis business name may also require approval from the municipality in which you plan to do business, and the BC Liquor & Cannabis Licensing Branch.
- Register Your Business Name
If your preferred business name is available, register it. You’ll receive a “Name Request Number”, which is valid for 56 days.Within that 56 days, register your business as either:
Once registered, you’ll receive a “BN” (Business Number).
- Register for a BCeID
BC liquor and retail cannabis stores must register a “Business BCeID”. Visit “Register for a Business BCeID” for registration steps. Registration typically takes about 15 minutes.
What Can I Do with My BCeID?
With BCeID account you can manage provincial and federal government registrations and services from one BCeID account. Because a registered business may have more than one license (e.g. a license for each location), each BC liquor or cannabis license associated with a registered business may be managed from the business’s BCeID account.
You can also provide business partners and employees who help manage your business their own secure access to the business’s BCeID account, so you don’t have to share your BCeID account login.
- Business User: basic privileges.
- Business Accounts Manager: has additional privileges to manage accounts on behalf of the business.
- Business Profile Manager: has authority to update business profile information or restructure the business and create new users. The person who initially registered the business’s BCeID is automatically assigned the Business Profile Manager role.
See the Business BCeID Account and Profile Management Guide (PDF) for detailed information.
Need Help Registering a Business Name and BCeID for Your BC Liquor or Cannabis Business?
If you find the steps above confusing, you’re not alone, our team of Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors can further clarify all of the above for you. If you’d like a consultation and/or help setting up a BC liquor or cannabis business, with Thrive’s help, it’s easier than you think!
Book a Free 30-Minute Consultation Today!