Gordon J. Dykstra, brings more than thirty years of experience practicing law in Abbotsford, BC and can help you with form filing to helping with registering your company in BC. Call him at 604-853-4793.
In British Columbia, doing business or running a company doesn’t happen merely because someone hangs a sign in the window and starts conducting business. Legally, companies need to be registered with the government in order to assure that they are held accountable for conducting their businesses appropriately and that they pay their fair share of taxes. Depending on the type of business or company there are different forms that need to be filled out and filed with BC Registry Services. These rules need to be considered whether you are just starting a new business, or if you are changing the name or structure of the business. There are several different types of organizations that need to be registered, but all of them begin their path toward legal operation in the same way, By registering the business name for approval.
Business Name Approval
In most cases there is a good deal of freedom when it comes to deciding what to name a company, but whatever that name will be, it needs to be able to be tracked and recognized by the government. By reviewing potential names, the BC Registry can limit duplicate or similar names that would cause confusion. The head of a company needs to request an approval when they are seeking an incorporation of a company, society, cooperative association, or a financial institution. They also need to register the name of a sole proprietorship, general partnership, or an extra provincial company. Only federally incorporated companies do not require a name approval.
Approving the Business
Once the name is approved, the correct form needs to be filed with BC Registry Services, depending on the type of business. There is a different form for each business type, such as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership. If an existing business is undergoing a name change, or will be doing business under more than one name, you will need to enter the existing business and state that it will be doing business under the new name. If the old business is not going to be used, then a dissolution form needs to be filed as well and the appropriate fee needs to be paid to the ministry of finance. There is no fee to dissolve a business.
Getting a Business Number
When your business is approved and you file for incorporation, it will be assigned a business number (BN) that will help to distinguish it from other businesses. The assignment my be issued in conjunction with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB), the WorkSafe BC or BCeID Program which will further define your business. If your name needs to be altered, you can file a Notice of Alteration Change online.
While the forms necessary to register a business are available online, it is best to be as thorough as possible. If there is a slight error in the name, you may need to dissolve the first name, and reapply for approval of a second name, which could hold up your operations. Different legal and tax rules also come into play depending on what type of business you are running. Correcting errors is possible, but it is easier if these are not made to begin with. By consulting with a lawyer, you can discuss the pros and cons of different types of businesses and make informed choices as to whether one type or another will work best for you.