BENEFIT COMPANIES HAVE ARRIVED IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Beginning on June 30, 2020, a corporation formed under British Columbia’s Business Corporations Act (the “BCBCA”) can
qualify as a benefit company (a “Benefit Company”). New BCBCA corporations can be created as a Benefit Company, and existing BCBCA corporations can take steps to convert into a Benefit Company. Additionally, corporations formed under the corporations statutes of other Canadian jurisdictions – for example, under the Canada Business Corporations Act – may be able to take steps to change the regime under which they are governed to the BCBCA and take steps to convert into a BCBCA Benefit Company.
The document below describes the features of BCBCA Benefit Companies and identifies the steps necessary to create a Benefit Company or to convert an existing corporation into a Benefit Company. Taking the steps may be right for you and your business, but before taking any of those steps you should consult your legal advisors so that you can consider whether your business can meet the criteria for creating and maintaining a BCBCA Benefit Company.
What is a Benefit Company?
Benefit Companies formed under the BCBCA are for-profit corporations that operate in a responsible and sustainable way. A Benefit Company balances the goals of profit generation and social commitment.1 Benefit Companies have these two goals embedded into the key documents that form the corporation – the corporation’s “DNA”, so to speak – and these goals guide the operation of the corporation. While Canadian corporate law is flexible enough to allow a for-profit corporation to promote social commitments a BCBCA Benefit Company is formed for that purpose. To see how you can meet the legal requirement for Certification using a traditional corporate form view the legal roadmap page on www.bcorporation.net.