The new Societies Act and Regulation are in force as of April 1, 2021.
Each society has its situation and circumstances. The board of directors needs to decide when it would be best to submit the society's transition application. In making this decision, consider the following:
Each society registered under the current legislation must submit its application to the registrar of societies. The timeline for submitting is between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2023.
The registrar will dissolve a society that does not submit its application by March 31, 2023.
The detailed, step by step process for transitioning your society is outlined here.
A society registered under the old legislation cannot file online. They must submit paper annual reports and notices of change until it has:
- completed its transitional fiscal year; and
- reported to the Registrar on that year.
After transition and reporting on the completed transitional fiscal year is complete, a society can file these online:
- future annual reports; and
- change notices.
These can be filed online if all filings have been completed under the former legislation.
A society must use the former paper forms for filings done under the former legislation, even after April 1, 2021. After that date, the filing fee under the new legislation will apply.
You can file your application online or you can submit a paper copy. There is also no fee for submitting a transition application.
You can file online here:
You can file online once the society's transition application has been processed.
Most filings will be available online. But some will only be available online once the society’s transitional fiscal year is:
- completed; and
- after all reports for that transitional fiscal year have been filed.
During the transitional fiscal year, the society will continue to submit annual reports and change notices using the former paper forms under the previous legislation.
Once the transitional fiscal year has been completed and reported on, a society only has to submit the completed new annual report. This must contain the:
- statement of directors;
- registered office addresses;
- date of the annual general meeting;
- confirmation of the financial reporting class; and
- proof that the financial statements were presented to the members.
Change in directors or registered address occurs between annual general meetings
You must file a notice of the change with the registrar in a timely manner.
Annual general meetings
A society has 4 months to hold the annual general meeting. 30 days after the meeting, the society has to submit its annual report.
|Under the former legislation||Under the new legislation|
|Societies had to hold an annual general meeting and submit an annual report within 4 months of the end of the fiscal year end.||
|Category C societies had to file a declaration of that category.||
Category A, B and C societies no longer exist.
All societies had to attach financial statements to their annual report.
For category A or B societies, the financial statements had to be reviewed by a professional accountant, unless:
|If there was a change in the society’s registered address or directors, a notice of such had to be attached to the annual report.||If there's a change in the society’s registered address or directors, the change can be made directly on the annual return. No notice of such change has to be attached to the annual report.|
|If there was a change in the society’s registered address or directors between the annual general meetings, a notice of the change had to be filed with the registrar.||If there's a change in the society’s registered address or director(s) between annual general meetings, societies still have to file a notice of such change with the registrar in a timely manner.|
Once the transitional fiscal year is completed, class A societies must appoint an accountant, unless the requirement is waived. This can only happen by special resolution if permitted by the bylaws. Members cannot waive the requirement to appoint an accountant for more than 2 consecutive years.
Class B and member‑funded societies do not need to appoint an accountant. They may choose to do so and include this provision in their bylaws.
For class A societies, a compilation engagement by a professional accountant is required every fiscal year, unless waived. This can only occur by special resolution, if permitted by the bylaws.
Class B and member‑funded societies do not need to have a financial review done. They may choose to do so and include the selected financial engagement as a requirement in their bylaws.
The society's bylaws must specifically allow for waiving the requirement to obtain a compilation engagement.
Waiving the engagement must be made at the annual general meeting by a special resolution for the fiscal year following the fiscal year under review at that annual general meeting.
The waiving of the compilation engagement can be waived no more than 2 consecutive years out of 3.
The 2-year waiver restriction period starts as as soon as all the reports have been filed to complete the transitional fiscal year end.
If a society has not submitted its transition application by the deadline, the registrar will remove the society from the registry and the society will dissolve.
This will only happen as a last resort. Our Societies Advisor will work with you to help you submit your application in time.
Our standards align with levels of security of most other providers for a similar service.
The registrar established:
- electronic protocols for online filings;
Registry staff can only advise you on how to complete the required forms to ensure your filings meet legislated requirements.
We strongly recommend that you contact a lawyer or an accountant if you need legal or accounting advice.