Consumer Protection BC is responsible for licensing and regulating certain sectors in the province. It’s our job to make sure that the businesses in those sectors comply with the laws that we oversee. So, let’s bring it back to the basics and go over why certain requirements exist and why these laws matter to you as a British Columbian.
What kind of licences are we talking about here?
We are talking about our licensed businesses. Our regulated businesses need to get a licence from us on top of a regular municipal business licence. Here are the sectors that we are responsible for licensing:
- Debt collection, debt repayment services and bailiffs
- Cemetery, crematoria & funeral services
- Payday lending
- Home inspections
- Motion picture retail, exhibition (theatres) & distribution
Our licensed businesses must prominently display their Consumer Protection BC licence. For example, this is what the Travel Industry Regulation (one of the regulations that we oversee) states:
A licensee must prominently display the licensee’s licence in the location for which the licence is issued.
Why it matters
It matters because when you are deciding to deal with a business, you want to know they are legitimate and properly licensed.
It is also important for businesses to display their licence because:
A licence allows a business to operate legally.
To get their licence, businesses must follow certain laws. So, when you see that a business has their licence displayed, it means that they have complied with the necessary requirements.
A visible licence number gives you basic assurances.
The licence tells you that the business is periodically inspected, may be subject to specific qualifications (depending on the sector) and must comply with the law.
The licence tells you who to contact if you have a problem.
All of our licences have our name and contact information so if you ever have any questions or concerns about the business, you know who to go to for help.
The licence can offer additional protection in some cases.
In BC, if you are booking travel, you can only make a valid claim against the Travel Assurance Fund if you booked with a licensed travel agent. The Fund is a possible source of compensation when you don’t get the travel services you paid for.
If you have a question or concern about one of our licensed businesses, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific sectors and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Either way, we will try to help. We invite you to explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.