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BC Registry Services is pleased to offer online filing of B.C. society annual reports by following the link on the right.
- General Information
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From this page you can download and print, to your own printer, most of the Society Act forms and information packages.
Forms on this page are available to fill in online. For those forms which can be submitted to the Corporate Registry on paper, complete the form online, download to your printer, sign and date the form and then forward to our office, along with the required fee. Note that some forms have an instruction page(s) which should be printed and referenced during completion of the form online.
A society is a not-for-profit organization. Any funds or profits must be used only for purposes of the society itself. Funds or profits cannot be distributed to a member of a society without the member giving appropriate compensation to the society first.
Societies are not required by law to incorporate. However, there are benefits to incorporating. When a society is incorporated, it acquires all of the powers of an individual, as well as an independent existence -- separate and distinct from its members -- and an unlimited life expectancy.
If you have any questions about whether or not to incorporate, you should see a lawyer. Societies are incorporated in B.C. according to the provisions of the Society Act. Copies of the Act and regulations are available from Crown Publications in Victoria at 250 387-6409 (toll free 1 800 663-6105). Every director and member of a society should read the Society Act and regulations.
By filing the necessary documents and paying the required fees, five or more individuals can form a society.
The Canada Revenue Agency registers qualifying organizations as charities, gives technical advice on operating a charity and handles audit and compliance activities. To find out about registering a charity contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
The Charities Directorate also provides information sessions to help registered charities understand their obligations under the Income Tax Act. The following offerings are available to charities:
- Charities Information Sessions: Face-to-face presentations across the country;
- Webinars: Live interactive presentations through the Internet; and
- Webcasts: Recordings of webinars for people to view any time.
All presentations are free. They are an excellent opportunity for any members of a charity to learn about various income tax provisions and obligations, which are often part of a charity’s daily life (e.g., issuing receipts or filing the annual information return (T3010)).
Charities Information Sessions and webinars are also a great opportunity to ask questions and to share information with other charities.
If you are interested in attending or finding out more information about these sessions, please visit www.cra.gc.ca/charities, and select Webinars, Information Sessions, and other news.
Complaints about Registered Charities
If you have a concern about a particular registered charity, you can contact the Canada Revenue Agency. Due to confidentially requirements, actions taken by the Canada Revenue Agency will not be made public, except in the case of revocations.
B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
For information on bingos, casinos, raffle tickets and gaming at fairs, exhibitions and social clubs contact the B.C. Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch in Victoria at 250 387-5311.
Corporate Registry staff do not examine bylaws at the time of incorporation or when bylaws are changed. Instead, the registry is the repository of the bylaws for public access. A society must ensure their bylaws comply with section 6 of the Society Act before filing them with the registrar’s office. If a society requires assistance in drafting or changing their bylaws, they may wish to seek legal advice.
Note, the bylaws must be in English, legible, clear enough to be photocopied or imaged, and assigned by the appropriate parties.
Societies are not required to submit a Financial Statement to the registry. However, societies still have to produce Financial Statements and present them to the members at the Annual General Meeting. Section 95(3) of the Society Act requires Financial Statements to be kept at the society’s address and be made available to the public upon request. The society is allowed to charge the public up to $10 for the viewing of documents and 50 cents per page for photocopying fees.
The first step in incorporation of a society is the approval of the name through the Names Unit of the Corporate Registry. Once your name is approved, it is reserved for you for a period of 56 calendar days. Any renewals of the reservation period will require payment of another reservation fee.
A name will not be available if it is similar to the name of an existing company. This is so the public is not confused or mislead by similar corporate names.
Refer to the Information on Reserving Your Corporate Name information package for procedure to apply for your name approval.
Each society requires a constitution and bylaws, list of first directors and notice of address. The constitution will set out the name and purposes of the society and may contain other provisions. The bylaws set out the rules of conduct of the society. The constitution and bylaws can be submitted on one of three formats: Form 1 if you choose to adopt the bylaws as set out in Schedule B of the Society Act; Form 2 if you choose to adopt the bylaws as set out in Schedule B of the Society Act but wish to make some changes or additions; and Form 3 if you want to define your own bylaws for the society. Refer to the Incorporation of a British Columbia Society package for additional information.
- Form 4 REG774 List of First Directors
- Form 5 REG742 Notice of Address of Society
- Name Approval Request REG708B
Once a society is incorporated, it is responsible for filing certain documents and associated fees with the registrar to maintain its active status. Refer to the Maintaining Your BC Society information sheet for additional information.
- Form 5 REG742 Notice of Address of Society
- Form 7 REG775 Notice of Change of Directors
- Form 10 REG782 Copy of Resolution
- Form 11 REG731B Annual Report (Note: Attach an additional sheet if more space is required for directors.)
Annual Report Online Filing Available
Online filing of an annual report is available at BC Registry Services. Use the access code printed on page one of the annual report reminder or contact BC Registry Services at 1 877 526-1526 to have an access code mailed to the Registered Office of the society. Payment is by credit card or BC OnLine deposit account. There is also information available online to help you throughout the process.
Important information on the Form 10, Copy of Resolution:
- Check one box only. Special resolution to change constitution or bylaws; borrowing; for removal of or to change number of directors; for amalgamation of societies; for accountability; for subsidiaries; or to expel a member. Ordinary resolution for voluntary dissolution; to appoint a director; for remuneration of an auditor; or for removal of an auditor. Directors' resolution to permit some of the society documents to be kept at places in B.C. other than the address of the society; or application to be or not to be a reporting society.
- Provide a brief statement describing the reason for the resolution. Note: a directors' resolution regarding location of documents must describe the documents to which it applies and the place they are to be kept.
A resolution, other than one changing the number of directors or removing a director, does not take effect until it is filed with the registrar.
Failure to Comply, section 102 of the Society Act
If a society has for two years failed to file with the registrar the annual report or any other return, notice or document required by this act to be filed, the registrar may dissolve the society.
If they have failed to comply with the Act, the dissolution process occurs in three steps beginning with a letter which is sent to the society, at its registered office address.
After one month from the date of the letter above, and providing the registrar has not received a response indicating the society intends to comply, a notice will be published on the BC Laws website of the intent to dissolve the society.
At any time after one month after the date of publication of the notice above, and unless cause to the contrary is shown, the registrar may dissolve the society.
The registrar publishes a notice of every dissolution in the British Columbia Gazette.
Voluntary Dissolution, section 103 of the Society Act
A society may dissolve voluntarily by filing with the registrar:
- an ordinary resolution in duplicate requesting the registrar to dissolve the society; and
- an affidavit by two or more directors (or if the society has only one director, an affidavit of that director) proving what disposition has been made of the assets of the society and a statement that the society has no debts or liabilities. (Ensure that the affidavit has been witnessed / sworn by a Notary Public or a commissioner for taking oaths.)
The resolution and affidavit(s) are submitted to the registrar along with the fee.
Society, section 137 of the Society Act
If a society has been dissolved, an application may be made to the B.C. Supreme Court for an order restoring the society to the register. The order must be made not more than ten years from the date the society was dissolved and upon restoration the society is deemed to have continued in existence as if it had not been dissolved.
The registrar will require all delinquent filings and applicable fees be submitted and acceptable for filing before the restoration will be completed. The Act also provides for a restoration for a specific purpose or limited period up to two years, in which case the delinquent filing would not be required.
As the restoration process can be complicated, it is suggested that you contact the Corporations Unit to discuss your options and requirements.
- Information for Registration of an Extraprovincial Society
- Maintaining an Extraprovincial Society
- Information for Restoration of an Extraprovincial Society
- Information for Voluntary Cancellation of an Extraprovincial Society
Voluntary Cancellation of an Extraprovincial Society, section 104 of the Society Act
An extraprovincial society which has ceased to carry on business in British Columbia may submit a notice in letter form stating it has ceased to operate in British Columbia and wishes its extraprovincial registration be cancelled. The notice must be originally signed by a current officer or director of the society and submitted with the fee.
- Section 76 REG792 Statement of Registration of an Extraprovincial Society