Establishing a company in British Columbia, Canada

The province of British Columbia is located on Canada’s western coast. This sprawling province is bordered on its west by the Pacific Ocean, and by Alaska to its northwest. To the north there in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, on the east is the province of Alberta and the Rocky Mountains, and to the south are the US states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The province was named in 1858 for the British Queen Victoria, although it was settled far earlier by various indigenous tribes.

The capital of British Columbia is the city of Victoria, also titled for the queen who bequeathed her name to the province – and its largest city is Vancouver. Its population numbers a mere 4.5 million, although 2.5 million of these are centered in the metropolitan area of Vancouver. The official language is English, a fact that makes it easier for global entrepreneurs to establish a company in British Columbia. The province boasts breathtaking natural landscapes, impressive mountain ridges, rivers and forests, and the Pacific coastline that offers a very different sea-going experience than that familiar to us in the Middle East.

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Three things you did not know about British Columbia:

  • Thanks to the location of this province along the Pacific Ocean, with many mountain ridges crossing the region to reach the sea, British Columbia is known as the only Canadian province where you can ski down snowy slopes but also golf on grassy green lawns – on the same day! This combo is known as the “West Coast Special”.
  • Although Canada is not usually associated with winemaking, the Okanagan region in the province’s south does have a suitable climate for growing vines. Here you can enjoy the many wineries.
  • Small businesses constitute 98% of businesses in the province, and generate 56% of local jobs in the private sector. British Columbia offers an efficient and beneficial taxation and regulation environment for small businesses and companies – a definite advantage over other provinces.

British Columbia’s economy

The economy of British Columbia is primarily resource dominated, such as a large and very developed quarry industry, natural gas and oil, and power generation by hydroelectric plants. Additional natural resources also constitute important sectors in local economy, such as forestry and fishing. As this province is Canada’s gateway to the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia is the international trade hub for the country and all of North America. The successful and developed tourism industry generates over USD 13 billion each year. Also, this province is considered the “Hollywood of the North”, home to the fourth-largest film and television production industry in North America.

The city of Vancouver is the financial center of British Columbia, its economy based on an extensive financial services sector. Businesses in the area enjoy an official policy designed to reduce regulations on the sector, as well as communications, transportation and banking.

Mellius offers its clients a range of solutions for those wishing to establish companies in British Columbia, tailor-made to client needs and type of activity.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in Canada, British Columbia:

General
Type of company
Corporation or Extraprovincial Company
Relevant Companies Law
Canada Business Corporations Act
Offices
Law requires appointing local representative
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
CAD
Corporate tax rate
25%
Standard share capital
Irrelevant
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Not required
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Individual and/or company
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Required
Obligation to appoint local company director
Not required
Minimum number of directors
1
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
Not required
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding office holders is accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Not required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required