Protecting Your Assets
Starting a new venture in British Columbia is an exhilarating experience. You've consulted with accountants, chosen to incorporate for asset protection, and perhaps even opted for a numbered company for simplicity. Your brand, let's say "Victoria Tech Innovations," is now emblazoned on business cards, invoices, and promotional materials. You're set to soar, right?
Not so fast. While incorporating offers numerous benefits, including shielding personal assets, it's crucial to ensure your clients recognize they're transacting with your corporation, not you as an individual. This distinction is vital for maintaining the protective barrier of your corporate entity.
Per the Business Corporations Act of British Columbia, a company's official name, distinct from its trade name, should be prominently displayed at its business premises and on all official documents. While the Act doesn't explicitly state the repercussions of non-compliance, court decisions provide clarity.
Consider the case of Pageant Media Ltd. v. Piche (2012 BCSC 2152). Here, Pageant Media pursued Piche for an unsettled invoice related to his business, CWC Gaming S.A. Despite the business indicating its corporate status, its documents merely mentioned "CWC Gaming" or "CWC". Piche contended that the debt was his company's, not his personal liability. However, the court ruled against him. The lack of clear distinction between the company and the individual made Piche personally accountable.
To avoid such pitfalls, it's not necessary to have, for instance, "456789 BC Ltd. doing business as Victoria Tech Innovations" in bold or large fonts. A simple "Victoria Tech Innovations, a subsidiary of 456789 BC Ltd." suffices.
At Infinity Law, we emphasize the importance of these nuances in corporate law. Taking such precautions early on can prevent significant challenges as your enterprise expands in Victoria and beyond.