How To Form A BC Corporation

Posted:  Feb 1, 2023

As a business owner in British Columbia, one important step you can take to create a successful business venture is to incorporate it into a BC corporation. When you incorporate your business, you will enjoy several benefits, such as limited liability protection for the shareholders and the ability to raise capital more easily. Also, forming a corporation in BC will shield you from liability should one of your employees is accused of doing something illegal. In addition, forming a corporate will help increase credibility with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. 

However, incorporating a BC corporation can sometimes be daunting because of the stress and unending demands that come with it. But with the right guidance and resources, you can have your corporation up and running in no time. Therefore, without further delay, in this article, we’ll walk you through the process of forming a British Columbia corporation, including the benefits, requirements, and costs involved.

Benefits of a Corporation

A corporation can be seen as a legal entity separate from its owners. Corporations are a popular business structure because of the benefits they provide. So, here are five benefits of a corporation:

  1. Limited liability: This is probably one of the most important benefits of a Corporation. If a business is under a corporation, members with share stocks in that company will only be liable for their investment in the company, not for its debts or liabilities. This means that shareholders' personal assets are protected in case of a lawsuit or bankruptcy.
  2. Raising capital: Corporations can raise capital by issuing stocks, bonds, and other securities. This allows them to expand their operations and invest in new projects.
  3. Continuity: A corporation has a continuous life in which a shareholder's death or withdrawal won't lead to the death of such a business entity. What we are saying here, in essence, is that a change in ownership won’t kill off the business venture.
  4. Makes the transfer of business ownership from one person to another very easy: Another benefit of a Corporation is that it makes it easier for a business owner to transfer or sell his share to another person without disrupting business operations. This is made possible because of how ownership is represented in a corporation. 
  5. Taxation benefits: Corporations are taxed separately from their shareholders, which can result in significant tax savings. Additionally, corporations can deduct certain expenses, such as employee salaries and benefits, from their income before calculating taxes.


Requirements For Incorporating in British Columbia

As a business owner in British Columbia, you may need clarification on how you can go about the incorporation process. If you need clarification about the process, don't panic because you are at the right place. This section will show you some of the requirements you have to meet. 

  1. Your business must have a unique name not already used by another company in the province.
  2. The company must have at least one director who resides in Canada, and 
  3. Additionally, your company must have a registered office address within British Columbia.
  4. The business must have at least one shareholder.
  5. The business must have articles of incorporation, which are legal documents that set out the company’s name, purpose, and structure.
  6. Before Incorporation, you must also pay the British Columbia government a filing fee.
  7. Lastly, the company you’re about to incorporate must register for taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the British Columbia Ministry of Finance.

It is important to note that more than the requirements mentioned here may be needed depending on the type of business you want to incorporate. Hence, you should contact your attorney for proper guidance before you start the process.


Naming Your Corporation

When choosing a name for your corporation, it’s important to ensure that another company is not already using it. You can check the availability of a name by searching the British Columbia Corporate Registry’s database. Keep in mind that you’ll need to choose a name that is not misleading or offensive, and it must end with “Limited” or “Incorporated” or an abbreviation of those words (L.L.C, L.C, or LLC).


Specifying The Incorporators

The role of an incorporator is to file, sign and submit the articles of incorporation. An incorporator can be an individual, an organization, an association, shareholders, directors, or anyone else authorized to act on behalf of the corporation. You must specify their duties and responsibilities when specifying incorporators in your business.


Specifying The Directors

Directors can be seen as individuals responsible for managing the corporation’s affairs. They are elected by the shareholders and are accountable to them. 

However, not everyone can serve as a director of a corporation. For example, British Columbia has limitations on who can serve as a corporate director. As specified under BC's Business Corporations Act (BCA), a person who wants to serve as a corporation's director in BC must be at least 18 years old and not be an undischarged bankrupt. 

Additionally, a director may be disqualified from serving in BC if they have been convicted of certain criminal offenses, such as fraud or embezzlement, or if they have been found to have acted in a manner that is detrimental to the interests of the corporation or its shareholders.


Specifying A Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or organization designated to receive legal documents on behalf of the corporation. This can be anyone you choose, but it’s usually someone who is easily accessible, such as a director or incorporator.


Stating A Corporate Purpose

This is self-explanatory; in the process of incorporating your business, you have to state its purpose. This can be any lawful purpose, such as manufacturing goods, providing services, or investing in other businesses.


Determining Incorporation Bylaws

The simple explanation of Incorporation bylaws is that they are the rules and regulations that govern the activities, as well as the internal affairs of the corporation. These bylaws specify:

  1.  How the corporation will be run
  2.  How meetings will be conducted and, consequently, how decisions will be made.


Costs of Incorporating in British Columbia 

The type of corporation you hope to form will ultimately determine the costs of incorporating your business enterprise in British Columbia. However, on average, the basic filing fee for incorporating a company is around $350, but then again, there are additional costs for services such as name searches and registered office services. So, in short, make sure that you have a solid budget for it



Incorporating your business is a great way to structure it as it offers several benefits, including personal liability protection, the ability to raise capital by issuing shares of stock, etc. However, before you venture into this operation, it is always advisable that you contact an attorney for proper guidance.



Title: How To Form A Bc Corporation | Stevens Law


Meta Description: Want to start a business in BC? Here's everything you need to know about forming a BC corporation, including the steps and requirements involved.


Contact Us


Box 943
#326 - 198 East Island Highway,
Parksville, B.C.
V9P 2G9


Monday8:30a.m. - 5p.m.
Tuesday8:30a.m. - 5p.m.
Wednesday8:30a.m. - 5p.m.
Thursday8:30a.m. - 5p.m.
Friday8:30a.m. - 5p.m.
Stevens & Company Law on Facebook  Twitter  Stevens & Company Law on LinkedIn

Toll Free:1-877-248-8220