After registering your newly incorporated business, there are steps you’ll need to take to keep it in good standing. Even though each province has unique requirements, there are minimum requirements for maintaining your company required by most Canadian jurisdictions.
Minimum maintenance requirements:
- Filing a corporate annual return with the appropriate registry office
- Filing notices regarding any changes of address or directors when required
- Preparing annual shareholder resolutions as required
- Preparing director solutions as required
- Filing a tax return each year
Making updates to your corporation’s minute book is also required annually.
You may know a corporate minute book as a collection of documents and its activities. It’s usually a physical binder that contains all your necessary documents, or a digital copy where files can be shared and accessed easily.
The following documents are generally found within a minute book:
- Articles of incorporation
- Director and officer registers
- Shareholder register
- Share certificates
- Minutes of meetings (including resolutions) conducted by directors and shareholders
- All transactional documents, such as share transfers or director changes
- Copies of all forms required to be filed in the corporate registry
A large part of your annual maintenance is reviewing and updating any necessary information within your corporation’s minute book. To learn more, take a look at our corporation minute book article here.
When should an Annual Report be filed?
Annual reports should be filed each year within two months after the anniversary of the date the company was recognized. That date would be the company’s date of incorporation, amalgamation, or continuance in the province. It is not related to your fiscal year end, so is often a different date than the date your taxes are filed.
Special requirements in BC
It’s vital that you update your contact information with the BC Registry Services so they know how to reach you.
If you had any changes in the office address of your company, which is the address on the forms used for incorporation, you must file the annual return of information (Form 2 — Notice of Change of Address). This is crucial to receiving essential information. Failure to do so may cause legal complications if you miss any important communications from BC Registry Services.
What are the consequences of not filing an Annual Report?
Not maintaining your company’s annual requirements can lead to a number of problems. These include penalties or your company being removed from the corporate register — meaning it’ll no longer exist as a legal entity. In that case, you’ll have to go through the lengthy and expensive process of reviving your corporation in order to conduct regular business activities again.
It is essential that BC business owners are aware of the minimum requirements they must complete in order to maintain their company’s good standing — especially if your business went through any changes.
For any minor changes, you may be required to pay a fee. For specific major changes, those requirements may vary which is why it’ll be valuable to speak with a small business lawyer.
If you have any further questions, we are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!