Regulations

Published: Sep 22, 2017
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2019
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Learn More About Compliance Issues

When it comes to starting a business, one of the first decisions you need to make is the legal structure of your business - sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited company. You'll also need to register your business and you'll need to be aware of many municipal, provincial or federal regulations. The websites in this section will help you.

Registered Charity vs. Nonprofit Organization: What's the difference?

This Government of Canada website explains the difference between a registered charity and a nonprofit organization.

Not-for-profit Corporations Act

The Not-for-profit Corporations Act contains the latest regulatory information for nonprofits in Canada.

Operating a federal not-for-profit corporation

This Government of Canada contains all the information required for operating a not-for-profit corporation including by-laws; Canada Corporations Act, Part II; and next steps following incorporation.

Societies Act - British Columbia

Specific legislation and regulations govern how societies (not-for-profit corporations) are created and run in B.C.. The Societies Act was revised and came into affect on November 28, 2016.

Nonprofit Exemption British Columbia

The BC Human Rights Code allows some non-profit groups to make distinctions that would otherwise be discrimination. Generally, a non-profit organization can give preference to members of a group whose interests are being advanced by the organization.

General Business Resources

Small Business BC (SBBC)
SBBC is a great place to start for information on BC specific regulations and guidelines, for whatever stage you are in your business development. This is a great post on the topic.

BizPaL
This is the one-stop website to assist Canadian businesses that are just starting up, or expanding into new areas. BizPaL asks you a short series of questions about the nature and scope of your current or proposed business. Based on your answers, BizPaL provides you with a customized list of government permits and licences that you may require to operate your business. All of the information that you provide is kept anonymous, and you may save or print your results for future reference.

Canada Revenue Agency - Business
This section of the Canadian federal tax agency's website contains important taxation and documentation requirements that businesses operating in Canada must adhere to.

The Province of British Columbia
Provides information on programs and resources available to small business owners in British Columbia. Includes information on taxes and industry regulations. Start with the Permits, Licences & Registrations section.

BC Business Registry
Offers comprehensive information on starting a business in BC, including essential foundational understanding about different categories of business registration and the differences between them.

Start here: OneStop Business Registry
Start here: Permits, Licences & Registration

Start here: Society (non-profit) registry services
Start here: Community Contribution Company (BC Ministry of Finance)

Canada Revenue Agency - Charities
This section of the Canadian federal tax agency's website contains important taxation and documentation requirements that businesses operating in Canada must adhere to.

Start here: Applying for Registration