VICTORIA -- Many City of Victoria business licences and renewals are now available from home.

The city announced a new online application portal Friday, saying the tool will make it faster and more convenient to obtain new business licences or renew existing licences.

Business owners can also submit required documents, pay licence fees and print off their licence from home.

Some categories of business licences, such as for taxis, restaurants and short-term rentals, are not covered by the online tool as they require an in-depth staff review, according to the city.

“City staff were already working towards streamlining the way we do business at the City of Victoria and this was prioritized during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement Friday. “We’re proud to be able to launch this new online option during Small Business Month.”

October is Small Business Month in B.C., recognizing the contributions entrepreneurs and small business owners make towards the economy and local communities.

"Making it easier to do business in British Columbia is a must,” said Muriel Protzer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses. “Offering digital, streamlined services helps small business owners by making it quicker and simpler to accomplish necessary tasks.”