When considering conducting business in British Columbia is is a good idea to consider whether the business you wish to register needs to be registered to conduct business in British Columbia.
Types of Businesses that must Register to Carry on Business in British Columbia
These requirements will apply to any business in Canada registered outside of British Columbia (domestic business) which wishes to conduct business in British Columbia, and as well, for those foreign businesses that wish to conduct business in Canada (businesses registered outside of Canada in another country).
When a business registered in a jurisdiction outside of British Columbia wishes to sell or provide services in BC, the registration is called an Extra-Provincial Registration.
Summary of Requirements to Carry on Business in British Columbia
A simplified list of what the BC government constitutes conducting business in BC is as follows:
A company registered outside of British Columbia carrying on business in British Columbia MUST register within 2 months.
A company is deemed to be conducting business in BC if
- its name is listed in a telephone directory
- its name is in an advertisement with a BC address or telephone number
- the foreign entity has a warehouse or office in BC
- the foreign entity owns land in BC
Statute Language – Carry on Business in British Columbia
For those who would like to know the exact wording of the statute, below is an excerpt from the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia):
Sections 375 (1), (2) and (3) describe what constitutes the necessity to register a foreign business in British Columbia:
“(1) A foreign entity must register as an extraprovincial company in accordance with this Act within 2 months after the foreign entity begins to carry on business in British Columbia.
(2) For the purposes of this Act and subject to subsection (3), a foreign entity is deemed to carry on business in British Columbia if (a) its name, or any name under which it carries on business, is listed in a telephone directory (i) for any part of British Columbia, and (ii) in which an address or telephone number in British Columbia is given for the foreign entity, (b) its name, or any name under which it carries on business, appears or is announced in any advertisement in which an address or telephone number in British Columbia is given for the foreign entity, (c) a resident agent, or (ii) a warehouse, office or place of business, or (d) it otherwise carries on business in British Columbia.
(3) A foreign entity does not carry on business in British Columbia (a) if it is a bank, (b) if its only business in British Columbia is constructing and operating a railway, or (c) merely because it has an interest as a limited partner in a limited partnership carrying on business in British Columbia.
(4) A foreign entity need not be registered under this Act or comply with this Part other than subsection (5) [subsection (5) relates to agent or representative] of this section, and may carry on business in British Columbia as if it were registered under this Act, if (a) the principal business of the foreign entity consists of the operation of one or more ships, and (b) the foreign entity does not maintain in British Columbia a warehouse, office or place of business under its own control or under the control of a person on behalf of the foreign entity.”