How to keep records for non-profits

Societies need to keep records of certain information and provide them when required. These tips will tell you what records you need to keep and who can see them, according to the Societies Act.


It's a record of information in any form, according to the Societies Act. Your society needs to keep records of certain things and provide them as necessary.

You can keep your records electronically, on paper, or in any state that allows someone to inspect them.

There are 5 main kinds of records you need to keep:

  • documents about the nature of the society;
  • legal and official documents;
  • records about who is part of the society;
  • records of your society’s meetings; and
  • financial records.

You need to keep the following documents about your society:

  • A certificate of incorporation.
  • A certified copy of each of the following, as provided by the registrar:
    • constitution; and
    • bylaws.
  • A statement of directors. If you file your annual reports and change of directors on time, this record will appear on our registry. You will not need to keep a separate copy.

You need to keep the following information about who is part of your society:

  • written consent to being on the board of directors;
  • written resignations from directors;
  • register of directors; and
  • register of members.

What is a register?

A register is a formalized list of all your members or board members.

Register of directors

You should keep a list of all your former and current board members. Your register must include the each director's:

  • name;
  • most recent contact information;
  • starting date;
  • term of office; and
  • resignation date.

Which address do you use for each board member?

You need to provide your board members’ addresses when you fill out certain forms. Those addresses will appear on our corporate registry, which anyone can search.


  • The address does not need to be the directors’ personal residential addresses.
  • The address can be anywhere where the director can receive mail during working hours.
  • You can use the society’s address for each director if you prefer.

Register of members

You need to keep a list of all the members of your society. The list needs to include:

  • each member’s name;
  • each member's most recent contact information;
  • the date each person became a member; and
  • if you have different classes of membership, which members fall under each class.

Do not include any other information about your members on the registry.

Who can access information about members?

Only people who are members of the society can access the register of members.

If a member wants to look at the register, they need to send a written letter to the society.

A member can use the information on the register of members to:

  • call a general meeting;
  • make a proposal for a general meeting;
  • influence the voting of members; and
  • advance another matter relating to the internal affairs of the society

See section 27 of the Societies Act for more information.

Who can access information about the board of directors?

You do not have to be a member of a society to find out who is on the board of a society.

You cannot use the board members’ information for any reason other than to address the affairs of the society.

Read section 28 of the Societies Act for more information.

You must keep records of your society’s board meetings and general meetings. These records are usually kept as minutes.

Your minutes should include:

  • who was at the meeting; and
  • the text of any special or ordinary resolutions.

If you pass a resolution in writing, you need to keep a copy of every written consent to that resolution.

You may also want to keep a copy of the notices you send out to pass resolutions.

Download a copy of a resolution template.

You need to keep accounting records for each of your society’s fiscal years.

Be sure to keep:

  • financial statements for each fiscal year;
  • the accountant’s report (if required) for each fiscal year; and
  • accounting records for each fiscal year, including details of where money came from and how it was spent.

Your financial statements need to include:

  • payment to any board members or anyone associated with a board member (for example, a spouse, relative, or business partner); and
  • details of wages paid to employees or contractors over $75,000. You must include their title, position or nature of the contract.

You do not need to identify these people by name.

If you are worried about the possible impacts of this requirement, phone 867-332-7950 or email

Read section 38 of the Societies Act for more information.

Who can access your society's financial records?

Anyone can ask to access a society’s financial records.

Societies must provide copies of financial statements within 2 weeks of receiving a request.

A society can decide to set a fee to provide a copy of financial statements. The fee cannot exceed $0.10 per page for emailed copies or $0.50 per page for hard copies.

You should keep records at:

  • your society’s registered office; or
  • another location that board members decide on, as long as the records are available for inspection.

You can keep records in any state that allows them to be inspected. This could be:

  • electronically; or
  • on paper.

You must take reasonable steps to make sure that your records are:

  • complete;
  • not damaged or destroyed;
  • safe from falsification; and
  • simple, reliable and quick to access.

Anyone can ask to inspect your records, subject to your bylaws.

Rules for members:

  • A member can inspect records without charge.
  • Members must apply in writing to see the register of members.

Rules for non-members:

  • The society can charge a fee for inspecting records for anyone who is not a member of the society.
  • The fees cannot exceed $0.50 per page for hard copies or $0.10 for emailed copies, or $10 per day regardless of how many records need to be inspected.
  • A non-member cannot see the register of members or the information about payment to directors that includes their names.

Read sections 26 and 27 of the Societies Act for more information.

You can get rid of records that:

  • are 10 years old or older; and
  • are no longer relevant to the society.

What about records from a dissolved society?

A liquidator needs to keep a society’s records for 6 years following the date they dissolved.

The liquidator must:

  • provide access to these records as required by the Act; and
  • keep either hard copies or electronic copies of records in the Yukon.

If a society will not give you a copy of their records, the registrar can order the society to provide the record.

If the registrar agrees that the society should have provided the record, the registrar can order the society to provide either a:

  • copy of the record; or
  • signed statement from a board member explaining why they refuse to provide the record.

To make an order, the registrar must:

  • explain why the person is entitled to receive that record; and
  • send a copy of the order to the society and to the person who wants the record.

The society has 15 days to provide the record after receiving the order. 

The registrar may also choose not to order the society to provide the record. If that’s the case, they need to write to the person seeking the record and the society explaining why they made that decision. 

See section 111 of the Societies Act for more information.

Apply for a court order

If the registrar has ordered a society to provide a record and the society still has not provided it, you can apply for a court order by visiting court services

If someone alleges that a society has kept a false record, they can apply for a court order to correct that record. They would also need to tell the society they're doing this.

If a record is destroyed or missing, a society can apply to the court and ask them to declare what should have been in the record and make it have full legal effect.

Read section 113 of the Societies Act for more information. 


We're open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at 307 Black Street, 1st floor in Whitehorse.

Phone: 867-667-5111, or toll free in the Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5111

Mail: Government of Yukon
Professional Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (C-5)
Box 2703,
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6