Navigating the Business Registration Process in BC

Ready to register your start-up business?

Registering a business in BC is relatively straightforward, but first you need to decide if your company structure will be a proprietorship, partnership or corporation.

Once you’ve settled on a company structure, the first step of registering your business is the name reservation. You can apply for up to three names on one application, and you should thoroughly research your name choices before submitting your application. You can research your name choices and submit your application at

Your Submission Options

  • You can submit the form online directly through the BC Registry website for a fee of $31.50 payable by MasterCard or Visa.
  • You can submit the form though the Small Business BC office (online or in-person) for a fee of $50 +GST payable by cash, debit, MasterCard or Visa.

The processing time varies depending on the volume of applications BC Registry receives on a daily basis. When submitting your application online, there is an indicator on the top-right side of the page to let you know the current processing times.

Once your business name has been processed and approved, you can file the business registration application.

To register a proprietorship or partnership in BC:

  • You will first need to set up an account with BC Registry (this is a mandatory step). BC Registry no longer accepts paper registration forms for sole proprietorships or general partnerships. Through this account, you will be able to register the business as well as make future changes and print your own company records should you need them. Discover the steps needed to set up your account.
  • Once the account has been created, you will need to then add your approved name request to the account to complete the registration. Here are a couple to step-by-step guides to complete a sole proprietorship or general partnership registration:

To register a provincial corporation in BC:

  • You must submit the application online at for a fee of $351.50. Processing time is instant, but paper copies of your incorporation certificate and original application will be mailed to you.
  • If you do not wish to submit the application online, you will then need to contact a lawyer to do it for you.

Once you have successfully registered your company you may now apply for any additional licenses and permits your business requires, such as a business license, a business number, GST, PST and workers compensation.


Got Questions? Contact the SBBC Team

If you’re finding any part of the business registration process confusing, contact Small Business BC’s Business Advisors and they’ll be happy to help.