Series GR-1526 - Corporate registry files

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Corporate registry files

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  • textual record
  • microform

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  • Variations in title: Also known as Companies files.
  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

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  • [ca. 1860]-2004 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Corporate Registry

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Physical description

ca. 1893.55 m of textual records and 556 microfilm reels

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Biographical history

The Corporate Registry was established in 1872 with the creation of the position of registrar of companies.

The purpose of the Corporate Registry is to provide the legal framework for the incorporation, registration, maintenance and dissolution of companies, societies and co-operatives doing business, or active in British Columbia. In accordance with the Company Act, the office maintains files on all of these companies, societies and co-operatives. Prior to 1872, the Colonial Secretary of the Province of British Columbia, and the colonial secretaries for the Colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, performed this function.

Since 1872, this office has also been known under the following names: Companies Branch, Registrar of Companies, Joint Stock Companies Branch, and Joint Stock Companies and Insurance Branch. From 1872 to October 29, 1976, this office formed part of the Dept of Attorney General and Ministry of Attorney General. From 1976 to November 6, 1986, the office was part of the Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. Since 1986, the Corporate Registry has been part of the Ministry of Finance.

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Scope and content

The series consists of registry files created by the Corporate Registry, documenting the registration, corporate history and dissolution of all companies, societies and co-operatives that operated in British Columbia, and were dissolved between 1860 and 1993. In accordance with the Company Act, companies, societies and co-operatives that carry on business in British Columbia must register with the Corporate Registry and must regularly submit reports and other records to the registry office. For example, companies must file an annual report each year along with forms recording any changes to the head office and/or records office locations, and changes to the company directors. The file that the Corporate Registry creates may contain an assortment of documents.T

These documents include articles of incorporation, certificates of incorporation, articles of association, annual reports, director's resolutions, notices of directors, notices of office, changes of office, encumbrance and mortgage documents, ledger cards, ordinary and special resolutions, constitutions and by-laws, memoranda, correspondence with the Corporate Registry, and dissolution documents. The pre-1970 files may also contain return of allotment information.

The series is arranged into twenty sub-series that reflect the type of company and the company act that was in force at the time that the company was registered. Each sub-series has its own numbering system, preceded by a set of initials that designates the sub-series. Each company file is numbered sequentially within these sub-series. For companies with head offices in British Columbia, there are six sub-series. For companies with head offices in British Columbia, and registered between 1860 and 1910, there are five different sub-series that correspond to the five different company acts that were in force in this period. These sub-series are identifiable by the following initials: QA 1860 Company Act QB 1862 Company Act QC 1878 Company Act QD 1890 Company Act QE 1897 Company Act. Since the 1910 Companies Act, the Companies Office has maintained one sub-series, and numbering system, for all companies with head offices in British Columbia. This sub-series is identifiable by the initials "BC."

There are also sub-series documenting societies, co-operatives and extra provincial companies that carried out business in BC. Societies and co-operatives are identifiable by the following initials: S society CP co-operatives Extra provincial companies have several designations reflecting the date that they were registered. Since the 1920's, all extra-provincial companies have been given an "A" designation but prior to that date a number of different registrations were used. These registrations include: A extra provincial company B extra provincial company registration EPR extra provincial company registration LIC extra-provincial company licenced REG extra provincial registration FOR foreign registration.

The series also contains several other types of company files, each with their own designation. These are as follows: NON non registered companies PA private acts RLY railways S+L savings and loans T trusts TMY tramways. This series includes records created under earlier names of the Corporate Registry including the Companies Branch and Registrar of Companies. The series also includes company files originally created and maintained by the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred in multiple accessions over many years from the Corporate Registry.


At the time of transfer to the BC Archives, the records in this series were boxed, or microfilmed, in a different order from that maintained in the office. In most cases, the files have been boxed, or microfilmed, by the date that the company was removed from the registry, and then by the company number.

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Location of originals

Between 1958 and 1980, the Central Microfilm office of the BC Government, microfilmed a portion of the records. This project covered a large number of files for companies that were dissolved prior to 1975. The original records were destroyed after microfilming.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions to these records. Copyright belongs to the Government of British Columbia.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

The BC Archives has a database which can search for corporate registry files by name or file number. This database was created with extracted information from the Corporate Registry's own electronic index. Contact the BC Archives reference room for assistance. Many of the entries list a simplified form of the company name. For example, the words "company" and "limited" have been shortened to "co" and "ltd". The word "the" been removed in those cases where the company name begins or ends with this word.

Associated materials

For a list of companies incorporated by the Colony of Vancouver Island until the year 1864, see GR-1372, file 1899. See GR-0405 for a Register of agricultural and horticultural societies, 1874-1911.

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

These records are exclusively the records filed with the Corporate Registry as required by the Company Act. They do not represent the administrative or operational records of any of the companies.

General note

The Corporate Registry have retained files for active companies and dissolved continuations and firms.

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Archives code(s): Some of these records were originally assigned a variety of BC Archives call numbers. All of these records have now been added to this description. The numbers include: GR-1438, GR-1526, GR-1580, GR-1581, GR-1582, GR-1583, GR-1584, GR-1678, GR-1679, GR-1681, GR-1772, GR-1914, GR-1915.

General note

Accession number(s): G82-078, G88-017, G88-019, G88-020, G88-137, G91-125, 84-0075, 84-0093, 86.0030, 87-0030, 88-0030, 89-0030, 90-0030, 91-0030, 91-3853, 95-1655

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