Business Types

Proprietorship or Sole Proprietorship

A proprietorship or sole proprietorship is the simplest form of a business, in which an individual and his/her company are considered a single entity. One person performs all the functions required for the successful operation of the business and assumes all the liabilities. The proprietorship has no legally separate existence from its owner, the proprietor. The proprietor is said to be self-employed and does not have to be a registered business.

General Partnership

When two or more people or corporations arrange to carry on business together they can decide to form a partnership. In a general partnership the partners are responsible for all aspects of the business including the debts of the partnership.

The Partnership Act describes two main types of partnerships - general partnership and limited partnership. For the purposes of BCeID select General Partnership only if you are registering this type of company. If you are registering a limited partnership or a limited liability partnership please select Other.

BC Corporation

Companies are incorporated in BC according to the provisions of the Business Corporations Act and are registered with B.C. Registry Services. When a company is incorporated, it acquires all of the powers of an individual, as well as an independent existence - separate and distinct from its shareholders - and an unlimited life expectancy.  In other words, the act of incorporation gives life to a legal entity known as the corporation, commonly referred to as a "company."  A company can acquire assets, go into debt, enter into contracts, sue or be sued.

BC incorporated companies must have the corporate designation "Limited", "Limitée", "Incorporated", "Incorporee" or "Corporation" in the last word in the name. Abbreviations of these words (e.g., "Ltd.", "Ltée.", "Inc." or "Corp.") are acceptable.

Extra Provincially Registered Company

Also known as a extraprovincial company, extra-pro, ex-pro.

Any foreign entity, including federal corporations and foreign corporations, conducting business in BC must register as an extraprovincial company with B.C. Registry Services. These entities must file an annual report within two months of the anniversary date of registration. The annual report filing tells B.C. Registry Services that the extraprovincial company is continuing to carry on business in BC.   Extraprovincial companies are designated "Extra-pro" once they register, prior to registration they are called "foreign entities".

An extraprovincial company must have a person appointed as an attorney with a location in BC to receive the delivery of notices and records from B.C. Registry Services.

BC Incorporated Society

A not-for-profit organization incorporated in B.C.

A society is a non-profit organization. Any funds or profits must be used only for purposes of the society itself. Funds or profits cannot be distributed to a member of the society without the member giving appropriate compensation to the society first. Societies are not required by law to incorporate. However, there are benefits to incorporating.

When a society is incorporated, it acquires all of the powers of an individual, as well as an independent existence – separate and distinct from its members – and an unlimited life expectancy. Societies should have the designation "Society" or "Association" as the last word in their name.

Extraprovincial Non-Share Corporation

A society or association, incorporated or otherwise, formed outside B.C. An Extraprovincial Non-Share Corporation includes a branch of that society or association. It does not include a society or association, incorporated or otherwise, formed to acquire profit or gain or, that has a capital divided into shares.

You will register as an Extraprovincial Non-Share Corporation if your society is based outside of BC.


Your company is not any of the business types listed, OR you belong in ONE of the following groups:

  • Limited liability partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Non-registered Society
  • Charity
  • Municipality
  • Government agency/department