If you’ve never taken on a contract role, you might not know the options available to maximize your compensation. As a self-employed contractor, there are two options to register yourself as a business: incorporation or sole-proprietorship. Although we advise you speak with an accountant, consultants who bill $60,000 or more per year generally find that the British Columbia tax laws favor those who incorporate over sole proprietors.
The easiest route is to seek professional help; however, many choose to set up their own company independently. To set up your own company, you must register on Small Business BC. It’s government-funded website full of resources on how to self-incorporate independently.
Another option for self-incorporation is through Law Depot. Law Depot does the entire process for you in only 48 hours for a fraction of the price of an accountant.
This short guide will help you through the incorporation process quickly and easily. The basic steps required to self-incorporate are outlined in brief below.
RESERVE YOUR COMPANY NAME
The first step is to secure a corporate name. First, confirm that the name is not yet registered. There are various sites and organizations that will complete this process for you, but there is also a self-service search and request tool hosted by the BC Registry Services.
BC Registry Services explains the requirements, rules and restrictions when selecting a name. It allows you to search to see if your name choice already exists in the BC Corporate Register and enables you to submit a name approval request. The Names Request Online site lets you include your top three name choices should your first (or second) name choice be rejected. Please note that the approval request costs a small fee to complete and may take up to five business days to process.
Once your name is reserved, it’s held for 56 days, during which time you’re required to complete and file your Incorporation Application. At the end of the 56-day window, the reserved name becomes released and you will need to begin the process again. If you have any questions about this step in the incorporation process, please contact the Corporate Registry at (604) 775-1044.
CREATE AN INCORPORATION AGREEMENT
The Incorporation Agreement is rather straightforward. It documents the name of the company, the incorporator, any additional shareholders and the breakdown of shares. A simple Incorporation Agreement can be found on the BC Government website.
ESTABLISH TABLE ONE ARTICLES
The Articles are the rules you’ve developed that govern how your company will run. It documents the structure and conduct of your company’s shareholders, directors and officers. An example of an Incorporation Agreement with the Table 1 Articles can be found here. If you want to customize the articles for your company, you should first meet with a lawyer.
FILE YOUR APPLICATION
At last, file your Incorporation Application with the Corporate Registry. The quickest and easiest way to file is to submit your application online. The Corporate Online site contains a wealth of information to help you file your Incorporation Application correctly.
Upon completion of this step, your company will be incorporated. Afterwards, be sure to take a look at some of our opportunities or connect with one of our recruiters to find your ideal position!