BC's Land Owner Transparency Registry

Recently, the BC Government has become concerned that there are people who have interests in BC land who are not clearly disclosed on the property's title. In an effort to identify what the BC Government calls "indirect interests in land", the BC Government created the Land Owner Transparency Registry (known as "LOTR").

The LOTR is a provincial registry which tracks information about people who have interests in BC land, whether those people show up on title to the property or not. This registry is separate from (and in addition to) the title system run by BC's Land Title and Survey Authority. More information about LOTR can be found here.

If you are buying property as a corporation:

If you are buying property in British Columbia's provincial land title system and you will be registering it in the name of a corporation, you will need to do a significant amount of additional disclosure paperwork.

If you are buying property in the name of a company, the company will likely be a "reporting body".

Each reporting body must disclose additional information about the company and its significant shareholders. This information will be disclosed to LOTR in a Transparency Report.

An authorized signatory for the company must certify that the information in the Transparency Report is true and complete. There are significant penalties for failure to certify this information, and the Land Title office will reject any application to transfer land which does not contain this Transparency Report.

You will have to disclose:

  • the company's primary identification information";
  • the company's business number and incorporation number;
  • information for any corporate interest holder - a person who:
    • owns 10% or more of the company's shares;
    • owns shares which carry 10% or more of the company's AGM voting rights;
  • the name, title and other contact information for the person certifying the information;
  • any other to-be-prescribed information.

What do you need to do?

Short answer: more paperwork. A LOT more paperwork.

But don't worry, we'll help you with it.

If you are a reporting body, we will ask you for all of this information.

We will prepare a Transparency Report for your review and signature. You must certify that the information in this Transparency Report is true. This Transparency Report will be filed with your application to transfer the property into your name.

Transparency Reports must include a significant amount of information about the company and each person who is considered to be a corporate interest holder.

Examples of information required for each corporate interest holder includes:

  • names;
  • identification data (including dates of birth, SIN numbers and residency information);
  • dates upon which the person became, or ceased to be a corporate interest holder;
  • addresses and other contact information;
  • a description of the interest; and
  • the status of the corporate interest holder's mental capacity.

This list is NOT an exhaustive list.

Additionally, if your corporate shareholders are trusts, partnerships or corporations in their own right, you must disclose information about those trusts, partnerships or corporations as well.

You also need to notify the relevant interest holders that you are disclosing their information to LOTR in this process, to advise those individuals that the information being disclosed about them will be publicly available, and to provide those individuals with information about how they can request that information to be omitted or obscured from LOTR's publicly accessible information.

If you think you might be a reporting body, please let us know that as soon as possible, so we can make sure to start the information-gathering process as soon as possible. In fact, we recommend that you talk to us about this additional information as soon as you start looking at buying a property in the name of a corporation. Do not wait until you have signed your contract

Some of this information may be in documents such as a corporate minute book or a trust agreement. Some of this information may be missing, in which case we will need to sort out how to find that information. Remember that you are certifying this information to be true, and there are significant penalities for certifying incorrect information.

Your purchase cannot proceed without this additional paperwork, so the sooner you get started on it, the better.

Confused and baffled?

That's not surprising. This is a brand new law and Registry, and there are no other similar registries in Canada that can be looked to for guidance. We will help.

Contact us for more information.