Approximately one year ago (May 20, 2015, to be exact), I wrote about a bill then working its way through the provincial legislature. That bill received Royal ascent on May 14, 2015, leading to the new Societies Act which shall come into force on November 28, 2016. More recently, BC Registry Services have produced an initial transition guide for existing societies operating under the current Society Act, to allow those existing societies to transition to the rules under the new Societies Act.

Existing societies will then have two years (i.e. until Nov. 28, 2018), to file their Transition Application. The Transition Application will be an online form provided by BC Registry Services, as paper filings will no longer be allowed. Transition documents will be electronically files with BC Registry Services.

Before filing its transition application, every society should take care of the following matters. The Constitution must now consist of nothing but the society’s existing name and purposes, word for word as they appear in the society’s constitution on file with BC Registry Services. The bylaws of the society should then be prepared in a consolidated form and should be in an electronic format such as a Word document, which can be uploaded to the BC Registry Services database. The transitioning society must also ensure that the Statement of Directors and Registered Office information with the BC Registry Services is current and complete and that all Annual Report filings for that society are up-to-date with BC Registry Services.

While the transition guide is helpful in this regard, we would be happy to provide you with specific detail to assist in the transition of your existing society under the new Societies Act.

For all existing societies for which we act as the Register and Records Office, we shall be notifying you in the Fall to provide you with details about the obligations under the new act and to provide you with the documents necessary to effect and efficient transition from the old Act to the new.

If you have questions or want more information, please call me at (604) 688-4900 ext 11, email me, or connect with me on LinkedIn.