Why incorporate as a society? What are the reasons for doing so, and why not stay an unincorporated association?
I’m asked a lot about the “previously unalterable” provisions: those sections of a society’s constitution which must be moved into the bylaws and may be altered by a special resolution of the membership after the society transitions. But some societies are not at liberty to change these, at least not without ministerial permission. Others may put their funding or charitable status at risk if they modernize their bylaws.
Dye & Durham and Debbie Turner, the Deputy Registrar of Companies, have put together a video explaining the Societies Online application. The presentation breaks down how the new web application works, and how a society will transition itself using the system.
The People’s Law School has published a free online how-to guide to transition a BC society under the new Societies Act. The guide provides a step-by-step breakdown of the transition process and a robust breakdown of organizational governance topics and new Act benefits which a BC society may wish to revise its bylaws to take advantage of.
BC Registries (“RegCo”) have a new website, a new Societies Act website, and a new consolidated Frequently Asked Questions. The RegCo has also begun to send out Societies Online PIN code letters to societies’ registered records offices.
BC Registries has provided additional guidance for non-BC societies who may be registered in BC. Such extraprovincial non-share corporations must “on-board” to the new electronic registries system to avoid being struck by the Registrar, but do not need to transition. They must also register within 60 days of beginning to carry on activities in B.C. and appoint a qualified attorney if its head office is not in B.C.
At a presentation in Vancouver in early July, staff from the BC Registries provided some additional information on the transition process meant to assist those without legal representation to transition their societies. The talk primarily dealt with the new online registries system, as well as an “onboarding” process which will take place in October 2016.
Limited clarity on how the transition process under the Societies Act will affect those organizations with community gaming grant funding has been provided by the BC Corporate Registry in an FAQ posted to its website.
The BC Corporate Registry has posted information on its transition package service, a $40 service which includes certified copies of a society’s original constitution, bylaws, and any filed special resolution amending the constitution and bylaws.
If your society has an occupational title as one of its assets, watch out: a misstep under the new Society Act (BC) (the “New Act”) could remove your title protection.