How to register a business in BC?

Starting a business in BC

To initiate the process for registering a business in BC, you need to decide how your new business will be structured.

Business Types:

The type of business you choose to operate will determine the name you can choose to operate under, as the business name registration rules are different for each form of business structure. Example: a sole proprietorship using your own name, without adding any other words, does not require business registration in BC.

A Trade Name is any name under which you do business other than the current legal name on your corporate registration record. If you would like to use any name other than your corporate name in British Columbia (BC) you must register a Trade Name.

If you choose to carry on a business under a name other than your own personal name and are engaged in business for trading, manufacturing or mining purposes, you must register with the Corporate Registry within three months of your business start date.

Starting a business in BC requires you to register a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership. On registration you will obtain a BC Business License.

Important Information:

Please note, registration of a firm name does not provide any protection for that name and does not mean that the name will be available if you decide to incorporate a company using this name. Registering a Trademark is the only legal way to protect your business name in Canada.

Sole proprietorship and partnership names cannot use any form of corporate designation, for example Limited, Ltd., Inc., Corporation.

Procedure for Registering a Business in BC:

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Register a Sole Proprietorship

Register a Partnership

Register a Trade Name

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