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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.
  • Clarifies societies’ record-keeping obligations
    • The new legislation specifically describes what records must be maintained, and who will have access to them.
  • Makes changes to classes of membership, voting rules, and a reduced threshold to pass a special resolution.
  • Allows restoration of societies without court approval.
  • Sets qualifications for directors and senior managers, including age requirements.
  • To see section-by-section comparisons of the two Acts, see these concordances:

    Current Society Act to new Societies Act

    New Societies Act to current Society Act

    Explanatory Notes

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

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