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BC’s New Societies Act: Opportunities to learn more

Written on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Over the coming months we expect to see many opportunities to learn more about the Societies Act. Here are a couple of upcoming events on our radar:

Do you need more information about how BC's New Societies Act will impact your organization? Contact us by email [email protected] and indicate what areas of BC's New Societies Act you'd like us to cover.


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Published in BC Law Watch

BC’s New Societies Act: Getting started on the transition

Written on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Although we are still months away from the new Act coming into force, and there is a two-year transition period, it’s not too soon to start planning for the upcoming changes. Here are some things you can do as a society to get started on this process:

  • Consider creating a small governance committee to take charge of the transition project and lead the consultation of members[9]
  • Raise awareness of the upcoming changes among your members.
    • If changes need to be made to your bylaws during the transition period, things will go more smoothly during the drafting and approval process if you’re not in a time crunch[10].
    • If your society only meets once a year at an AGM, that provides only two chances to pass a transition application[11].
  • Transition packages will be available as of August 29, 2016[12].
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Published in BC Law Watch

BC’s New Societies Act: Mandatory electronic filing

Written on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Currently, the only electronic filing available for BC societies is the annual report. The new regime set forth by the Societies Act will allow for almost all filings to be done electronically. This has many benefits[8]:

  •  Improved access and usability for societies

Societies always have access to a current, consolidated (“evergreen”) set of their bylaws

  • Most filings will be immediate and self-serve. This eliminating waiting, backlogs and the need for $100 priority fees
  • Some fees have decreased or been eliminated

 Almost all filings will be done electronically, including:

  • Incorporations
  • Annual reports
  • Changes to directors
  • Changes to registered office address

Some of the more low volume, complex filings will remain as paper filings.

You’ll be able to submit these filings electronically yourself, or hire a lawyer or other service provider to submit them on your behalf.

[8] BC Registry Services

Please note that this article is offered for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered and does not constitute advice or opinion.


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Published in BC Law Watch

BC’s New Societies Act: What will change?

Written on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

The legislation makes sweeping changes to the law governing societies6. To name a few of the biggest changes, the Societies Act:

  • Distinguishes between member-funded and publicly-funded societies
    • Publicly funded societies and charities will be subject to increased requirements, and member-funded societies will have their regulatory burden reduced7.
    • A member-funded society is a type of special society “funded primarily by its members to carry on activities for the benefit of its members.”
  • Introduces mandatory online filing for incorporations, bylaw changes and other filing at the corporate registry
    • Existing societies will have to upload their constitution and bylaws in digital format when they transition.
    • Currently, the online online filing available is for annual reports.
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Published in BC Law Watch

BC’s New Societies Act: What types of organizations will be affected?

Written on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Over 27,000 non-profit organizations in BC will be governed by the new Societies Act when it comes into force on November 28, 2016:

  •  Applies to all organizations currently registered under the provincial Society Act
  • Registered charities, religious societies, philanthropic organizations, professional associations, sports clubs and teams, churches, community centres, fraternal groups, etc.

One big change in the new legislation is the distinction between two different types of society: the member-funded society and the publicly-funded society. Societies who wish to transition into member-funded societies will have certain steps to follow during the transition process. What is the difference between the two types of societies?

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Published in BC Law Watch
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