1993 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 35th Parliament

The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


BILL 41 -- 1993


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

1 Section 1 of the Notaries Act, S.B.C. 1981, c. 23, is amended by adding the following definitions:

"notary corporation" means a corporation for which a permit has been issued;

"permit" means a permit issued under section 43.3 and includes a renewal of that permit; .

2 Section 13 is amended by adding the following subsection:

(3) This section does not apply to a notary corporation.

3 The following sections are added:

Right to practise through a corporation

43.2 Subject to this Act, the regulations and the bylaws, a notary corporation may carry on the business of providing notary services to the public through one or more persons each of whom is

(a) a member of the society in good standing, or

(b) an employee of the notary corporation under the direct supervision of a member of the society in good standing.

Corporate registration

43.3 (1) The secretary must issue a notary corporation permit to a corporation that is incorporated under the Company Act and is in good standing under that Act if the secretary is satisfied that

(a) the name of the corporation includes the words "notary" or "notaries",

(b) all the voting shares are legally and beneficially owned by a member or members in good standing,

(c) all the non-voting shares are legally and beneficially owned by

(i) members,

(ii) the spouse of a member who is a shareholder,

(iii) a person who, although not married to a member who is a shareholder, lives with the member and has lived with that member as husband or wife for a period of not less than 2 years,

(iv) a child, as defined in the Family Relations Act, of a member who is a shareholder, or

(v) any other relative of a share holding member if the relative resides with that member,

(d) all the directors of the corporation are members in good standing, and

(e) all the persons who will be practising as notaries public on behalf of the corporation are members in good standing or are under the direct supervision of a member in good standing.

(2) The secretary may refuse to issue a permit under subsection (1) if

(a) the notary corporation has previously had its permit revoked, or

(b) a shareholder of the notary corporation was a shareholder of a notary corporation that previously had its permit revoked.

Prohibition against carrying on business

43.4 (1) A corporation that has the words "notary public" or "notaries public" as part of its name must not carry on any business unless it holds a permit or a permit under section 82 of the Legal Profession Act.

(2) A notary corporation that holds a permit must not carry on any activities that would, for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada), give rise to income from business, except the provision of notary services or services that are directly associated with the provision of notary services.

(3) Subsection (2) does not prohibit a notary corporation from investing its funds in real estate, personal property, mortgages, stocks, bonds, insurance or any other type of investments.

(4) No act of a notary corporation, including a transfer of property to or by the corporation, is invalid by reason only that the corporation contravenes subsection (1) or (2).

Voting agreements prohibited

43.5 A shareholder of a notary corporation must not enter into a voting trust agreement, proxy or any other type of agreement that vests in another person who is not a member of the society in good standing the authority to exercise the voting rights attached to any or all the shares.

Responsibility of members

43.6 (1) The liability for professional negligence of a member carrying on the notarial practice is not affected by the fact that the member is carrying on that practice as an employee of a notary corporation.

(2) The relationship of a member to a notary corporation, whether as a shareholder, director, officer or employee of the corporation, does not affect, modify or diminish the application to the member of the provisions of this Act, the regulations and the bylaws.

(3) Nothing in this Act affects, modifies or limits any law applicable to the fiduciary, confidential or ethical relationships between a member and a person receiving the professional services of that member.

(4) The relationship between a notary corporation carrying on business as permitted under this Act and a person receiving notary services provided by the corporation is subject to all applicable law relating to the fiduciary, confidential and ethical relationships that exist between a member and the member's client.

(5) All rights and obligations pertaining to professional communications made to or information received by a member, or in respect of any advice given by a member, apply to a notary corporation and its shareholders, directors, officers, employees and contractors.

(6) An undertaking given by or on behalf of a notary corporation that would constitute a notary's undertaking if given by a member is deemed to be given by the member who gives, signs or authorizes the undertaking.

Revocation of permits

43.7 (1) The directors may, after a hearing, revoke the permit issued to a notary corporation if

(a) in the course of providing notary services the corporation does anything that, if done by a member, would be professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a member,

(b) the corporation contravenes section 43.4, or

(c) the corporation ceases to comply with a condition of qualification for a permit referred to in section 43.3 or a condition under section 43.8 (1) (c) or (2).

(2) The directors may, rather than revoking a permit under subsection (1),

(a) reprimand one or more of the shareholders of the notary corporation, or

(b) impose a fine on the notary corporation in an amount not exceeding $10 000.

(3) If a permit is revoked under this section, the secretary must inform the Registrar of Companies.

(4) All shareholders, directors, officers and employees of a notary corporation may be

(a) compelled to give evidence at a proceeding under this Act, or

(b) required to produce all files and records that are in their possession or power and that are relevant to matters raised in the proceeding referred to in paragraph (a).


43.8 (1) The directors may make rules that they consider necessary or advisable for the purposes of sections 43.2 to 43.7 including rules

(a) respecting the issue and renewal of permits, including

(i) the establishment of a procedure to obtain a permit and a renewal of a permit, and

(ii) fixing fees for the obtaining of a permit or a renewal of a permit,

(b) respecting procedures for revocation of permits, including the adaptation, in a manner that the directors consider necessary or advisable, of rules respecting proceedings before the directors,

(c) fixing conditions that may be attached to permits that are issued or renewed under this Act,

(d) respecting names and the approval of names including the types of names by which a notary corporation may be known, and

(e) respecting the disposition of shares of a shareholder of a notary corporation who

(i) ceases to be a member, or

(ii) remains a member but is not qualified to practise as a notary public.

(2) The directors may, as a condition of issuing or renewing a permit, fix an amount of insurance that the holder of the permit must carry, or must provide to each of its employees, for the purpose of providing indemnity against professional liability claims.

(3) The rules under subsection (1) or the amount fixed under subsection (2) may be different for different permit holders, at the discretion of the directors.

Bylaws apply to corporations

43.9 The rules under section 42 (3) and bylaws made under this Act respecting members and former members apply to notary corporations and the directors may exercise the powers given by this Act, the regulations, the rules and the bylaws to enforce those rules and bylaws.

Appeals and other matters

43.10 Section 36 applies to a notary corporation as though it was a member.

4 The Schedule is amended by striking out "2" in its third column with reference to the notarial district of Quesnel and substituting "3".


5 This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

[ Return to: Legislative Assembly Home Page ]

Copyright © 2002: Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada