Set up a Societies Online Account (Societies Act FAQs)
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO) in May 2021.|
- 1 Signing Up for a BCeID Account
- 2 Creating a New Non-profit Society
- 3 Accessing an Existing Non-profit Society
- 4 Registry Keys
Signing Up for a BCeID Account
What is BCeID?
BCeID is an online account that allows individuals to access a wide variety of online services provided by the government of British Columbia, including Societies Online. A BCeID account is required to incorporate a non-profit society.
What is Societies Online?
Societies Online is the online portal for directors to manage the non-profit’s incorporation status, access foundational documents, and file annual reports. All non-profits in British Columbia are incorporated and managed using Societies Online. A BCeID account is required to use Societies Online. To sign in to Societies Online, go to https://www.bcregistry.ca/societies/.
How does someone create a BCeID Account?
Before a director can access the society dashboard on Societies Online, the director must create or sign into their own BCeID account. There are three types of BCeID accounts: basic, personal, and business. Directors can access Societies Online using a basic BCeID account. Since a BCeID account is tied to an individual, directors and senior staff who need to access Societies Online must each have their own BCeID account. To sign up for a basic BCeID account, go to https://www.bceid.ca/. Alternatively, go to https://www.bcregistry.ca/societies/ and click Register for Basic BCeID.
Creating a New Non-profit Society
How does someone incorporate a new non-profit society?
In British Columbia, all non-profits are incorporated using Societies Online. While there are several steps to incorporation, the first step is to create a Basic BCeID account and sign in to Societies Online at https://www.bcregistry.ca/societies/. Once signed in to Societies Online, start the incorporation process by clicking Incorporate a New Society.
Accessing an Existing Non-profit Society
How does a director access an existing non-profit society on Societies Online?
Sign in to Societies Online at https://www.bcregistry.ca/societies/. Once signed in to Societies Online, access an existing non-profit by clicking Access an Existing Society. Type either the full or partial legal name or registration number of the non-profit you wish to access and click Lookup. Search shows only the top five results. If your non-profit does not show up, you may need to further refine your search.
Select the non-profit from the search results and enter the non-profit’s registry key.
How does a director get a registry key?
Anybody registering, incorporating, amalgamating or otherwise being formed under the Societies Act will be asked to set up a registry key.
Non-profits incorporated under the old Society Act were sent an onboarding letter containing a temporary registry key. This letter was sent out prior to 28 November 2016.
What if the directors can't find or have lost the registry key?
If the registry key has been lost, a new registry key can be requested from the Registrar. The Registrar can be contacted by emailing email@example.com or by calling 1-877-526-1526 (8:30am to 4:30pm PST, except weekends and holidays).
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