Do I need a lawyer and an accountant to incorporate a company or society?

Or can I do this on my own?

Dean

Dean

North Vancouver, BC

There’s no legal requirement to consult with a lawyer or accountant in order to incorporate, and it is possible to incorporate online on your own. A lawyer and accountant can help ensure that your company is set up properly. 

Companies have to create and maintain a minute book. Bear in mind that many of the minute book documents are not readily available online and can’t be easily prepared. That being said, you can Google BC-specific primers on basic corporate law to get yourself in gear.

Each year, your company will probably have to file a tax return. These returns are trickier than personal returns, so factor in the cost of an accountant for this sort of thing. 

If you are transitioning from a sole proprietorship to a company, an accountant can assist with transferring assets and goodwill into the company. If the transfer is done incorrectly, you might have to pay additional taxes. Also, if your company's structure is incorrect from the get-go, this could lead to problems down the road if you choose to sell or transfer the business. There are many types of shares that can be owned in a company, some more tax efficient than others. 

So while you don’t strictly need to, it might be worth spending some money on professional advice to avoid costs and headaches later on.

David Kandestin

David Kandestin

People's Law School
  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in April 2021

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