How to Open a Business in British Columbia

Updated on Monday 02nd August 2021

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The process of opening a business in British Columbia (BC) is similar with the one that can be met in all liberal economies. You will first have to know if starting a small business in BC is the right approach for you or if your interests are better represented through a large company and from this, you will be able to decide on all other aspects, the first being selecting the suitable company type
This is a crucial aspect, as some company types are more suitable for small businesses, while other are created for the needs of larger companies. If you need advice on how to start a business in BC, you can always rely on our team of consultants in company registration in Canada

What are the steps for incorporating a business in BC? 

There are numerous steps in the process of company formation in Canada, and this applies to British Columbia as well. Before starting the legal procedures through which a business form gains legal personality and thus, gains the right to perform commercial activities in this Canadian province, you will have to establish what type of business you want to start – a small business, with few employees and a simple management structure, or a large company, which develops complex operations. 
After this, you should decide if you will register a partnership or if you will select a corporate structure, such as the private limited company. Those starting a small business in BC can also register a sole trader, which represents the simplest way to develop a business here – this is an entity designed solely for natural persons who want to use their abilities and expertise for their own benefit. 
The sole trader can have only one founder and in the case in which you consider that you will need a business partner, it can be a good idea of incorporating a business in BC as a partnership or as a private limited company, and still develop a small company. 
However, the company type that you will select is of crucial importance, as this will have a tremendous impact on your rights and obligations, but also in terms of tax level and compliance, so please address to our team of consultants in company formation in Canada for tax advice. 
Once you have decided on the most suitable business form, you should prepare a business plan that will set out the basic layout of your business. This document is not necessary just for yourself when starting the company, but it can also be required by banks and local institutions. 
Then, you should have a clear image on the capital you need to start a business in BC and the overall costs related to the process of company formation in Canada, but also operating costs, employment taxes, corporate taxes and other expenses. Besides these, the following must be completed as well:
  • find a suitable trading name for you company and obtain an approval for it;
  • register the legal entity with the local registration authority;
  • register for taxation purposes – for the payment of the Provincial Sales Tax and the Goods and Services Tax;
  • depending on the business activity developed by your company, you may need to register with other institutions, such as the Industry Training Authority or the Canadian Intellectual Property Office;
  • another obligation when incorporating a small business in BC is to apply for business permits, according to the British Columbia Government website

Why start a business in BC? 

The entire Canadian territory provides numerous competitive advantages for investment purposes, and selecting a region can also be influenced by the sector that you are interested, but also by the local tax advantages and other economic conditions. Below, our consultants in company registration in Canada present few reasons for investing in BC:
  • the Government of Canada and British Columbia will invest $24.5 million starting with 2021 in various investment project;
  • there are 27 projects that are of interest and that will be financed through the Covid-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream;
  • British Columbia will contribute in these projects with $3.7 million;
  • BC will invest in various projects for the next 10 years;
  • 80% of the costs will be sustained by the Canadian Government, while 20% will be funded by the BC.
Those who want to open a company in Canada in Province of British Columbia must know that this region has attracted a large proportion of the foreign direct investments concluded in this country. Form 2018 to 2019, the investments increased by 33% and this should be of interest for those who want to start a business in BC. For more details on starting a company here, please contact our team of consultants