The simplest form
of a business is a sole proprietorship. One person performs
all the functions required for the successful operation of
the business and assumes all the liabilities. The proprietor
is said to be self-employed.
When two or more
people or corporations arrange to carry on business together
they can decide to form a partnership. The Partnership Act
describes two main types of partnerships - general partnership
and limited partnership. In a general partnership the partners
are responsible for all aspects of the business including
the debts of the partnership. In a limited partnership there
are two types of partners - general and limited. Each type
of partner has different rights and responsibilities. Generally
speaking, there is a limit on the liability of a limited partner,
while the general partner's liabilities are not limited.
The procedure to register your business will now be explained
in a step by step format.
Note that this procedure has been greatly improved with the
introduction of Onestop
Business Registry. By using the Onestop website to register
your sole proprietorship/general partnership, your registration
will be processed automatically by the on-line system, allowing
you to recieve your registration number immediately (as opposed
to up to 4 weeks using the form). In order to register your
business using the Onestop website, you must still first manually
complete and submit a Name Approval first using the Name
Approval Form (pdf document)
1/ Name approval.
The first step to register your business is to get a business
name reserved. Please note, sole proprietorship or partnership
names are not protected and can be used by other businesses.
Sole proprietorship and partnership names cannot use any form
of corporate designation, for example Limited, Ltd., Inc.,
Corporation. Please see the section on Name
Reservations for complete information.
2/ Fill out a Statement
of General Partnership or Sole Proprietorship form
(pdf document) . Ensure all appropriate areas are completed
and information is correct.
Submit your Registration
form with the prescribed fee. Please note you must have a
name approved prior to filing your declaration. Forward the
completed form and fee to the Registrar's office in Victoria.
Your Registration must reach the Corporate Registry prior
to your name expiry date, if not, you will have to reapply
for the name and again pay the prescribed fee.
Processing of your
registration. Once your request reaches our office, it normally
takes seven working days to process your declaration. A certified
copy of your declaration will be returned to you by mail.
If you do not receive your certified copy within four weeks,
please call our office.
Act regulates how sole proprietorships and partnerships
are registered. You can order a copy of the act by calling
Crown Publications in Victoria at 250 386-4636 or International
Travel Maps & Books in Vancouver at 604 687-3320.
You do not need
a lawyer to register a sole proprietorship or partnership.
We do suggest you get legal advice if you are not sure if
you should have a sole proprietorship or partnership registered
or an incorporated company. It is very important for you to
know your legal rights and liabilities. Our staff cannot provide
A document explaining the differences
between Proprietorship, Partnership, and
is available on this website.