Business and Notaries: Setting Up a Business in BC and the Notarial Documents You Need

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Starting a business in British Columbia (BC) is an exciting venture, but it also comes with many legal requirements and paperwork that can be daunting for new entrepreneurs. 

Notaries play a crucial role in this process, offering essential services to ensure that your business formation is compliant with provincial laws and regulations. 

This article will guide you through setting up a business in BC, highlighting the importance of notarial documents and how notaries can assist you in this journey

Understanding Business Formation in BC

BC business formation involves several key steps, each requiring careful attention to detail and adherence to specific legal requirements. The first step is choosing the business structure that best suits your venture, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Each structure has its benefits and implications, especially concerning liability, taxation, and the capacity to raise capital.

1.Choosing a Business Structure

  • Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest form of business where one individual owns all assets and is personally responsible for liabilities.
  • Partnership: A partnership involves two or more people who share ownership of a business, including its assets and liabilities.
  • Corporation: This structure is more complex, providing liability protection to owners (shareholders) and existing as a separate legal entity.

2. Registering Your Business Name

Once you decide on your business structure, the next step is to register your business name. This process involves searching the BC business name registry to ensure your chosen name isn’t already in use and then registering it through BC Registry Services.

3.Business Licensing and Permits

Depending on the nature of your business, specific licenses and permits may be required at municipal, provincial, and federal levels. These are necessary for the legal operation of your business in BC.

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The Role of Notaries in Business Formation

Notaries in BC are highly trained in providing non-contentious legal services, including those related to business formation. They are vital in ensuring all documents are correctly executed, witnessed, and authenticated.

Here are some of the key notarial documents and services you might need when setting up your business:

1. Notarization of Incorporation Documents

Certain documents, such as the Articles of Incorporation, need to be notarized to verify the identity of the signatories and the authenticity of the documents for those setting up a corporation.

2. Partnership Agreements

If you’re entering into a partnership, a notary can help draft and notarize the agreement, ensuring that all terms are clearly understood and legally binding.

3. Property Leases and Business Contracts

Notaries can review, draft, and notarize lease agreements for your business premises and other contracts related to your business activities. They ensure that these documents meet legal standards and protect your interests.

4. Registration and Filing Assistance

Notaries can assist in the preparation and filing of required registration forms and other legal documents with the appropriate government bodies. This includes ensuring that all paperwork is completed accurately and submitted on time.


Setting up a business in BC involves navigating a maze of legal requirements and paperwork. Notaries are invaluable resources in this process, offering expertise in document authentication, legal drafting, and ensuring regulatory compliance. By engaging a notary, you can ensure that all legal aspects of your business formation are handled professionally and accurately, allowing you to focus on the growth and success of your new venture.

Whether you are just starting out or looking to expand your business, understanding the role of notaries and the essential documents required for business formation in BC is crucial. Make sure to consult with a notary to get the tailored advice and services you need to set your business on a solid legal foundation.


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