Transparency Registers Effective October 1
As of October 1, 2020, all BC companies must maintain transparency registers in their offices along with their other corporate records. A transparency register is a list of all significant individuals connected to the company and the requirement applies to real estate brokerages and personal real estate corporations.
To get started, the BC Government recommends a company review its central securities register and articles to identify significant individuals - that means individuals who have:
- direct or indirect interests in a significant number of shares of the company (25 per cent of shares or 25 per cent of votes), or
- rights to elect, appoint or remove a majority of the directors of the company.
Companies must also include in their transparency registers spouses and relatives who have the same home, if their combined interests meet the requirements to be a significant individual.
Failure to meet the transparency register requirements can result in enforcement action and penalties. Companies may be fined up to $100,000, individuals (shareholders, directors, officers) may be fined up to $50,000.
There's no need to file the transparency register with government. However, real estate brokerages and personal real estate corporations must make these records available, upon request, to law enforcement, tax authorities and certain regulators.
More information - including sample templates - is available from the BC Government webpage on the topic. The Real Estate Council of British Columbia also published an article about transparency registers in spring 2020.
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