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Society Transitions

As of November 28, 2016, all societies registered in British Columbia must transition to the new Societies Act. This transition does not need to be completed until November 28, 2018,

Transition is a complicated way of saying that all Societies in BC must file an electronic version of their bylaws and constitution with the Registrar of Companies. There are also some changes in the new Societies Act, so some mandatory updates to a society’s bylaws and constitution may need to be made. Legal advice on this should be sought.

Some Common Questions

Who Needs To Transition?
Any society incorporated in BC and any society incorporated in another province that is extra-provincially in BC. If you’re in doubt, contact a lawyer to find out.

When Do Transitions Need To Be Completed By?
November 28, 2018

What Needs To Be Done To Transition?
This will be different for each society and depends on the bylaws of the society as well as the society’s needs. All annual reports must be up to date and filed with the Registry. All directors’ information must be up to date and accurate

Transition applications are all completed online. The process for transitioning will include altering the constitution and bylaws to comply with the new Act. The new Act does not allow the constitution to contain anything other than the society’s purposes, and the new Act may make existing bylaw provisions unenforceable or unnecessary, depending on the organization.

Anything other than the society’s name and purposes must be moved from the constitution into the bylaws. The society’s current bylaws (those filed with the Registrar) must be changed to identify and unalterable provision as being “previously unalterable.”

Do I Need To Hold A Special Meeting To Transition?
There is no need to hold a general meeting or a vote in order to perform the above changes for a transition application.

However, a society may choose to make changes to its bylaws on transition. This must be approved by special resolution of the members. Legal advice should be sought before changing bylaws to ensure that they’re drafted and filed correctly. Ensuring that things are handled correctly will save your society significant time, grief, and expense in the future.

Learn More About Our Societies Services Today

Contact our Burnaby office by calling 778-653-7599 orĀ send us an email. We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation.