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New British Columbia Societies Act Now In Effect

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

The new British Columbia Societies Act is in effect and governs how societies (not-for-profit corporations) are created and run in British Columbia.

The new British Columbia Societies Act is in effect and governs how societies (not-for-profit corporations) are created and run in British Columbia.

The new British Columbia Societies Act (the "Act") came into effect November 28, 2016 and includes greater responsibilities for directors, significant updates to allow for more flexibility in how societies operate including enhanced flexibility for annual general meetings and the introduction of the concepts of senior managers and member-funded societies. Societies incorporated in BC prior to November 28, 2016, have two years to transition. This means setting up the required accounts to use the online filing system called Societies Online and completing a transition application. There is no charge for filing a transition application. However, any changes to the society’s purposes must be made separately, and any amendments made outside of the transition process will be subject to a $50.00 fee.

In order to transition to the new Act, each society will need to move clauses from their constitution to their bylaws as required by the new Act, file an electronic version of their constitution and bylaws, and a statement of the current directors and registered office of the society. Societies will have two additional years to meet the new board composition requirements under the new Act. Changes to a society’s bylaws can be made concurrently with their transition application, or before or after transition.

In light of the numerous changes to the regulation and governance of societies all societies and their advisers, volunteers and employees to become familiar with this new legislation; complete a review of existing bylaws and attend to any amendments to be incorporated into a transition application.

Does not constitute legal or other advice and must not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified legal professional in your jurisdiction who has been fully informed of your specific circumstances. Information may not be up-dated subsequent to its initial publication and may therefore be out of date at the time it is read or viewed. Always consult a qualified legal professional in your jurisdiction.

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