Everything you need to know before closing down a business in BC
Closing a business is never a pleasant or easy task. It may be for personal reasons, like retirement, or perhaps you no longer feel it’s a sustainable business. It’s vital to follow the right administrative procedures to notify the relevant government agencies that you are ceasing your business activities.
This article walks you through everything you should know to avoid financial issues and legal penalties that can result from your business closure in BC, Canada. The process varies slightly in each province. Be sure to consult with a tax or accounting professional and review local requirements.
Cancel your business registration
If you operate a sole proprietorship or partnership, you need to complete a business cancellation form in BC. The process usually takes between 2-3 weeks. Certificate of cancellation will be delivered to you upon completion. In order to proceed with business cancellation application, you need to provide a copy of your registration document and your authorization to cancel the business.
In BC, you can cancel your business registration through BC Registry Services. Download and fill out the appropriate sections of the Dissolution or Change of Partnership or Proprietorship form and submit the form in duplicate to the Corporate Registry office. Please note that the mailing address is printed on the bottom of the form.
You can also use an agent like Business Development Centre to cancel your business registration.
Dissolving a Corporation
To dissolve a company/corporation, at least two-thirds of the shareholders must vote in favour of dissolution, or the board of directors or sole shareholder of the company must decide to do so.
In British Columbia, file an Application for Dissolution on the provincial Corporate Online website. The company must be up to date with annual report filings.
Once the Application for Dissolution has been filed using Corporate Online, the registrar will provide confirmation of the dissolution of the company by issuing and providing a copy of the certificate of dissolution to the person shown in the application as having custody of the “dissolved company records”, as well as to the “person submitting the application” on behalf of the company. The registrar will also publish notice of the dissolution on the Queen’s Printer Web site www.qplegaleze.ca.
File your final tax return
You’ll need to file your final corporate tax return, plus any sales tax, payroll or information slip returns that are outstanding. Make sure to send all CPP contributions, EI premiums, and income tax deductions within seven days of the day your business ends. You also need to complete the necessary T4 slips and T4 Summary and submit them to the Ottawa Technology Centre within 30 days of the day your business ends.
Close all accounts
GST/PST account: Your accounts for the goods and services tax (GST) and provincial sales taxes (PSTs) also need to be closed. In British Columbia, you can close your PST account by completing an online form from your eTaxBC account.
Payroll account: File T4s for your payroll account and then close you RP account with CRA. If you took dividends then close the RZ account with CRA.
Business license: If you have obtained a business license to operate in a town or city, notify the municipality that your business has closed and your license can be canceled.
Corporate Bank Account: Once you’re sure there are no more business transactions, you may go ahead and close your business bank account.
We can help you close your business
When closing your business, it’s important to be diligent and thorough to ensure that you don’t forget any steps. You need to make absolutely sure that no debts or administrative tasks are left when you finally cease your business operations. You could do it yourself, but getting professional help can make the process a lot smoother. If you want professional support to ensure that no detail is left behind, feel free to contact us. Our corporate tax specialists in Surrey, BC have years of experience guiding business owners through the process of closing their company.