Register a British Columbia Business

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There are 3 types of registrations available as small businesses in British Columbia. You can register as a Sole-Proprietorship, Partnership or Proprietorship.

What is the difference between these 3 types of registrations?

  • A Sole Proprietorship is a registration or business owned by one person solely that is not an incorporated company.
  • A Partnership is a registration or business owned by 2 or more people and is not an incorporated company.
  • A tradename is a registered business owned and operated by an existing corporation.

Partnership, Sole Proprietorship or Tradename: What does each provide?

Considered as a less expensive alternative to incorporation, these registrations allow you to operate a business simply and inexpensively, however, the registrations do not have the same protections associated with Incorporation.

The Sole Proprietorship and Partnership do not have liability protection as a separate entity from those who own it and therefore the individual owners are personally responsible for the debits and obligations of the business. This is also the case if a lawsuit is claimed against the business, in these registrations, the individual owners are responsible for the personal or property loss if proven in court.

The tradename is registered under an existing corporation which has the liability protection and therefore, the tradename has the benefits from the corporation of liability protection.

Name Protection

None of these registration options offer name protection for the business, although the business name is searched and approved by the Province of British Columbia. If you wish to have name protection for the business where no one can use the exact same business name within the Province, you may want to look at incorporating where this is available.

Benefits of Registration:

  • Continued existence of registration
  • Less Expensive relative to incorporating
  • Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships are available to non-residents of Canada

Things to Keep in Mind about Business Registration:

  • Other business may operate under same or similar name to your business name
  • You are personally liability for the debits and obligations of the business
  • Amendments to registrations after you have registered your new registration may be limited.
  • You are personally taxed for the business revenues under your personal income tax

What is needed register?

  • The name of the business
  • British Columbia address for the business (if you don’t have a separate business address, a home address can be used as long as the address is in B.C.)
  • The activity of the business (a short description of what your business does)
  • Owner’s legal names (check drivers licence to ensure you register the same way)
  • Owner’s address or addresses (this address can be in or outside of B.C.)
  • Corporate Name (if it is a Tradename under an existing corporation)
  • Director Name (if it is a Tradename under an existing corporation)

How long does Registration take?

 only takes 3 to 5 minutes to fill in the application with Ontario Business Central online and once submitted, the registration process begins on a same day basis Monday to Friday.

Name Reservation

Name Reservation is mandatory in the Province of B.C.

When registering, you provide 3 business names in order of preference for review with the examiner at the British Columbia government. The examiners will review the names as you have provided them and any of the 3 may be accepted or rejected.

The Name Reservation displays results solely within the Corporate Registry within B.C. The results do not include trademarks, incorporations or businesses outside of B.C. The approval is determined by the Registrar and does not warrant any issue over potential name conflicts.

The Name Reservation approval is granted and available for a maximum of 56 days. The registration must be submitted and completed within the 56 day limit. If the registration is not completed within this timeframe, a new Name Reservation must be submitted, and reapproved. We highly recommend that, prior to submitting your registration, you complete a NUANS preliminary search which will provide a listing of corporations, small business and trademarks within British Columbia, but also in all Provinces within Canada. This is helpful, as it provides significant insight into what businesses are already in existence.

Government Fee
To register is $40.00

Why use us?

We have been assisting individuals to complete business filings since 1992

We have many resources available to new business owners throughout our website and blog.

Our staff is only a phone call or email away if you require any information to help you feel comfortable and confident in completing your B.C. registration, please feel free to reach out to us Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm EST.

Start your B.C. Registration

Start Your British Columbia Registraion Today

Should you have any questions, our staff would love to assist with your BC business registration. See contact details below.
Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913
Local: 1-416-599-9009
Fax: 1-866-294-4363
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.

Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.