the process by which one or more natural persons may form
a limited company. There are many reasons why you might want
to incorporate a company in British Columbia, but the four
most common reasons include:
to create a legal
to provide some protection for the name of the enterprise;
to provide limited liability to its members, thereby making
investment attractive; or
to provide perpetual existence.
The Office of
the Registrar of Companies acts as a vehicle for those who
wish to incorporate according to the provisions of the Business
first must ensure the proposed name of the company is available.
Please see the section on Name Reservations for complete information.
The name of an
incorporated company must end with one of the following designations:
Limited or Limitee;
Incorporated or Incorporee; or
The following abbreviations of the above are also acceptable:
Ltd. or Ltee.
If the name of
the company is to be its incorporation number, for example
123456 B.C. Ltd., a name approval is not required and the
number will be assigned at the time of incorporation.
Companies are incorporated
in BC according to the provisions of the Business
Corporations Act. When a company is incorporated, it acquires
all of the powers of an individual, as well as an independent
existence - separate and distinct from its shareholders -
and an unlimited life expectancy. In other words, the act
of incorporation gives life to a legal entity known as the
corporation, commonly referred to as a "company."
A company can acquire assets, go into debt, enter into contracts,
sue or be sued.
Some of the implications
of incorporating include higher start-up costs related to
professional fees for legal and accounting services. Carrying
on business as a company will increase the number of filings
you are required to make. For instance, the Business Corporations
Act requires all companies to file an annual report and also
file any changes to the location of company offices and its
directors. The company is also required to maintain certain
As of March 29,
2004, the registration of an incorporation in British Columbia
must be completed on-line.
on the incorporation procedure and the on-line registration
is available at: