Canadian non-profits risk dissolution in October 2014

This blog is VERY important for non-profit organizations in Canada.

We created a two part quiz to help you decide whether this blog applies to you:

1. Do you work at (or sit on the board of) a Canadian non-profit incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act? Don’t just skim this question – we know mentioning statutes causes you to zone out! Look at your organization’s letters patent and if you can’t find them, obtain a copy from the government (you may need assistance from your lawyer).

If you answered no, enjoy the rest of your day.

If yes, read on.

2. Has your organization transitioned under the new law that applies to Canadian non-profits?

If yes, good for you!

If no (or you’re not sure), continue reading.

You have probably heard murmurings about the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act over the last few years. The Act has clarified and modernized the law that applies to non-profits. However, unlike many laws of which you can passively take note, this law requires your organization to take active steps to transition under it.  It gave three years to do so and that time frame ends on October 17, 2014.

So what happens if you don’t transition?

The answer: your corporation could be dissolved.

In just 4 months Corporations Canada will start taking steps to dissolve corporations that have not transitioned under the new law. Registered charities could lose their charitable status (which has significant tax consequences).

So many non-profits do really wonderful and important work in Canada and beyond: they raise money for research, they lobby the government to fund medical procedures, they support people with rare diseases, they help family caregivers in times of need… and the list goes on and on. It would be an absolute shame for them to be dissolved. So be sure to spread the word!

The process to transition is not merely filling out a form. It involves many steps such as reviewing and replacing your letters patent and by-laws, drafting resolutions, obtaining member approval, and more.  With the summer months approaching, completing these tasks on a timely basis will be that much more difficult. So get started today!

Lisa Feldstein Law Office can help you transition quickly to ensure you do not miss this important deadline. To learn more about our services for non-profit organizations, click here.

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