BC’s New Societies Act: What will change?

May 18, 2016

The legislation makes sweeping changes to the law governing societies6. To name a few of the biggest changes, the Societies Act:

  • Distinguishes between member-funded and publicly-funded societies
    • Publicly funded societies and charities will be subject to increased requirements, and member-funded societies will have their regulatory burden reduced7.
    • A member-funded society is a type of special society “funded primarily by its members to carry on activities for the benefit of its members.”
  • Introduces mandatory online filing for incorporations, bylaw changes and other filing at the corporate registry
    • Existing societies will have to upload their constitution and bylaws in digital format when they transition.
    • Currently, the online online filing available is for annual reports.
  • Clarifies societies’ record-keeping obligations
    • The new legislation specifically describes what records must be maintained, and who will have access to them.
  • Makes changes to classes of membership, voting rules, and a reduced threshold to pass a special resolution.
  • Allows restoration of societies without court approval.
  • Sets qualifications for directors and senior managers, including age requirements.

To see section-by-section comparisons of the two Acts, see these concordances:

Current Society Act to new Societies Act

New Societies Act to current Society Act

Explanatory Notes
7
 http://www.pushormitchell.com/2016/02/bill-24-2015-societies-act/ 

Please note that this article is offered only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or opinion.

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