At a Glance

Each Canadian company is required to maintain an updated share registry. Such a registry contains active owners of a business and is updated on an ongoing basis. Previously, such documents were only available as a paper copy. Today, share registries should be stored as electronic files, and shareholders communicated with via email.

The share registry contains shareholders' names and addresses, the number of shares, and other pertinent pieces of information required by either the individual company or the province it is located in.

In BC, new laws require each corporation to maintain a Central Securities Registry containing all shares issued by the company, number of shares held by each shareholder, last known address, as well as the class of shares held by each shareholder.

Example Central Share Registry

Here is a link to a simplified share registry for a company containing details of shareholders, number of shares held, and other details. You're encouraged to create one to your specifications or obtain one from your accountant.

What a Central Share Registry means for your business

Apart from being a requirement under the law, a share or securities register allows businesses to maintain vital information about owners. Under the law, a person is not an owner of a business unless their name is entered in the company's register of members.

A share register also helps avoid future disagreements among owners or new shareholders in terms of subscribed number shares, types of shares held, as well as official shareholder identities. Also, in case a shareholder is leaving, officials refer to the company share registry for proper settlement.

Talk to your accountant or legal team to ensure that you maintain a register that captures all the current and future legal requirements.