If you wish to register a foreign business in British Columbia we can assist.  Below are some considerations for registering in British Columbia.

There are two ways of registering a business in British Columbia.

(1) Extra-Provincially Register Your Foreign Company in British Columbia

This type of registration constitutes a branch office of your foreign company in Canada.  You will be required to have an agent for service with an address in British Columbia.  This is a service we can provide.

Purchase a Registration of Your Foreign Business in British Columbia

 Procedure for Registering in British Columbia

Timing of Registration

Most registrations will be done within a week or 10 days.  It will depend on how quickly the BC government approves the name.  This can take 2 to 10 days depending on their backlog.  Normally it is 2-4 days.

Name Clearance Report

All companies domestic or foreign must provide a BC name search report when registering a business in BC.  If you are registering a non-resident BC company, we will want you to provide us with three choices of names since the BC government allows for three names to be checked.

In the case of an extra-provincial registration, the name must be the foreign company’s own name as registered in its home jurisdiction.  If the British Columbia government will not accept the name because of a conflict the foreign company will be able to adopt an assumed name for use in B.C.

What Constitutes Carrying on Business in British Columbia

For more information on what the government constitutes as carrying on business in British Columbia can be reviewed at the following link:  Carrying on Business in British Columbia


Certificate of Status (Good Standing)

In order for a foreign company (formed outside of Canada) to register in BC, it will also be expected to provide a certificate of status from its home jurisdiction in order to prove its valid existence in that country.  We will assist you with how to obtain the certificate of status  as part of our service.


Federal Business Number

All companies registered in Canada must also apply for a Federal Business Number.  This is a 9-digit number issued by the Revenue Canada Agency and this number will be used when filing tax returns in Canada.  The foreign company may be required to file a T2 Corporations Return each year.  For more information about this refer to the Revenue Canada Agency website for non-resident tax requirements.


Goods and Services Tax Account/Harmonized Sales Tax Account

All companies registered in Canada must charge goods and services tax or harmonized sales tax (whichever is applicable in the province that you are registered) if the company’s worldwide sales are more than $30,000.  Even if the sales are under $30,000 in Canada, but over $30,000 worldwide, the company must charge GST or HST on any sales in Canada.  Each province has its own percentage they wish you to charge.  The GST/HST is an account that is connected to your Federal Business Number.  The company will be required to remit the GST/HST it had charged (minus any GST/HST it had to pay for its own supplies) to Revenue Canada each year.


Importing and Exporting Account

If the company intends to import or export goods to Canada, it will be required to obtain an import/export account.  The company will be required to report on these matters by filing annual returns.