Information about AdvantageBC and the International Business (IB) Program
Registration in the IB program
Is joining AdvantageBC the same as registering with the Province?
Membership in the Society
The International Financial Centre British Columbia
No. AdvantageBC is a non-profit organization. It is incorporated under the name of the International Financial Centre British Columbia as a Society under the Society Act of British Columbia. It exists independent of both the federal and provincial government.
AdvantageBC, formerly the International Financial Centre British Columbia, was established in 1986. It began operations in 1988 as the International Financial Centre Vancouver. In 2004, the name was changed to reflect the fact that all companies in British Columbia are eligible under the International Business Activity (IBA) program.
AdvantageBC is funded by Members of the Society. Sources of funds include membership fees and Participation Assessment fees, which are assessed annually. Core Members pay $1,000 a year; Associate Members pay $300 a year. Core Members are also assessed a Participation fee based on income of the company's international business income. AdvantageBC receives no government funding.
Registration Under the provincial International Business Activity (IBA) program
No. Joining AdvantageBC is a separate process that takes place between the registrant and AdvantageBC, but to complete registration in the IBA program, a company must join AdvantageBC. To join AdvantageBC, a prospective member must complete a Membership Form and send in a cheque for $1,000. Information regarding Provincial registration can be found on the website of the BC Ministry of Finance (formerly the BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue).
The Province requires that a qualifying business maintain a permanent establishing in British Columbia and keep books and records of the qualifying business in British Columbia. For further information about Provincial requirement, please access the website of the BC Ministry of Finance.
In many cases, yes. Under the International Business Activity Act (IBAA), companies are eligible to register certain activities transacted with related parties and affiliates. The qualifying activities must be priced on an "arm's length" basis. Further details on the qualifying activities can be found by viewing the website of the Ministry of Finance.
The International Business Activity program is administered by the BC Ministry of Finance and forms are available on their website.
Membership in the Society
Core Members of AdvantageBC exercise voting privileges at the Annual General Meeting, when matters concerning the operation of the society are decided.
In addition to annual Membership fees, AdvantageBC charges a Participation Assessment fee on the income of the international business. Core members are invoiced in June.
Core members are generally registered with the Province of British Columbia. An Associate member, on the other hand, is not registered but has an interest in AdvantageBC. Many Associate members are from legal, accounting, and consulting organizations.
Registration as an IB Specialist takes place with the BC Ministry of Finance. Please access their website for more information.
In British Columbia, taxes are collected on behalf of both federal and provincial taxing authorities at the same time, and prior to receiving the tax refund, proof must be provided that both federal and provincial income tax has been paid in full.
The length of time it takes to complete an application varies by company, but in general, the process can take about six to eight weeks. The application turnaround will, to a large extent, depend on the quality of the information the company sends in as well as the complexity of the registration request. For more information on Provincial registration, please visit the website of the BC Ministry of Finance (formerly the BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue).
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