Regions & municipalities

Establishing operations in B.C.

Establishing your business in British Columbia (B.C.) is made easier when you connect with our experts. BC Hydro services more than 95% of the province's population, providing more than 30,500 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy each year to commercial and industrial businesses. Benefit from our close working relationships with municipalities when considering siting options for your operation. 

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B.C. at a glance

B.C. has 8 economic regions, 28 regional districts, and 161 municipalities. 

Economic regions

B.C. has 8 economic regions, each with a unique offering. These regions are connected by robust transportation and communication networks, boasting an abundance of natural resources and a skilled workforce. Municipalities often collaborate at the regional level to share information as well as plan and deliver services, making it easy to establish your business in B.C. 

Explore B.C.'s economic regions

Regional districts

B.C.'s 28 regional districts are federations of municipalities, electoral areas, and Treaty First Nations. These districts exist for the purposes of regional cooperation and equitable cost sharing between urban and rural areas. Regional districts provide services such as emergency management, regional solid waste management, and governance for electoral areas. 

Regional districts have the ability to regulate land use and development in electoral areas, similar municipalities, and play a key role in region-wide growth planning. 

Learn more about B.C.'s Regional Districts


Municipalities provide local services and governance. There are currently 161 municipalities that range in population from 100 to over 630,000. In B.C., municipalities are governed by elected officials (mayor and council) who have full discretion to set policies, adopt bylaws, and establish strategic direction for their communities. Municipalities provide services directly or indirectly through partnerships with the regional district, a private partner, or another government.

In most cases, municipalities are responsible for issuing business licenses and construction or development permits in their operating areas.

See the list complete list of municipalities in B.C. 

Municipal permitting and licensing

Each municipality or regional district manages permits and licenses differently. Requirements will also vary based on the specific use of a property. Once you find a property suitable for your operations, be sure to familiarize yourself with municipal or regional property regulations. 

Search our industrial properties registered with BC Hydro to find available sites, and be sure to connect with us to learn more about sites that may not be listed. Learn more about the municipality or region your site is located in to find out more about permitting and licensing requirements that may be required.

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Promoting growth

British Columbia is committed to streamlining regulations that promote economic growth, innovation, and inclusion through tax incentives and programs for businesses.

Learn more

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