Corporate governance and accountability standards often vary by region. In fact, different jurisdictions within a country can pass their own laws and regulations regarding transparency registers, regardless of what other jurisdictions choose to do.
However, some jurisdictions will follow others that took the lead first upon seeing how things work. For example, in Canada, transparency registers have legally been binding for privately incorporated companies in British Columbia. Now, other provincial jurisdictions, including Quebec, will enact the same laws for corporations headquartered in their provinces.
Quebec Bill 78: what it means for corporate transparency
In British Columbia, the laws require all information about a corporation’s significant executives to be reported on in a transparency register. The general public does not have access to this information, which is stored in the company’s own corporate records database. Aside from key executives within the corporation, law enforcement agents and inspecting officials are the only outside parties that will have access to the information contained within the register.
Similar legislation will soon become law in Quebec. One of the catalysts that inspired Quebec’s Bill 78 is an international effort to prevent corporations and their executives from engaging in tax fraud, money laundering, and the financing of global terrorist activity. The Quebec bill amends the existing legal publicity of enterprises (LPA) by adding new requirements under the Quebec Enterprise Register (REQ).
Now, all corporate registrants operating in Quebec must provide transparent records of the people, partnerships, trusts, and all other corporate entities that conduct business in the province. Non-profit organizations, Crown corporations, and certain financial institutions are exempt from the laws under Bill 78.
What information goes into a transparency register?
Corporations are often large entities, requiring lots of information to be recorded within a transparency register. But not every individual working for the corporation needs to be included within the recordkeeping process.
According to the laws, only “significant individuals” are required to be transparently registered. A significant individual is defined as anyone who:
Owns an interest or right to the company in the amount of 25 percent or more of all corporate shares
Can elect, appoint, or remove corporate directors from their executive positions
Under Bill 78, these significant individuals must disclose personal information within a transparency register to legally represent their affiliated corporations within Quebec. Information that must be registered includes things like:
Dates of birth
Collecting, documenting, and filing all of this information is a time consuming affair for your paralegal professionals. Additionally, should any records need to be amended or updated, it will take a lot of time for your team to modify these records, especially if they’re maintained in hard paper files. This is time that can otherwise be spent more efficiently with the right resources.
How to use entity management technology to manage transparency registers
If your corporation is based in Quebec, you’ll need to enact your own transparency register to comply with the new laws. How do you do so without sacrificing laborious hours of your paralegals’ time and energy?
The answer is to introduce entity management software into your corporate recordkeeping process. Platforms like MinuteBox automatically generate transparency registers through our Entity Information Summary that’s built directly into the platform.
Under the Entity Information Summary is a subsection called the Capital Section. It’s here that all authorized information about shareholders and corporate transactions is documented with a few insertions of data into open fields. Among those fields are areas to insert information for the company’s transparency register, ensuring your corporation is legally compliant with Quebec’s new laws surrounding corporate transparency.
The best part of this solution is that it utilizes document automation technology to streamline how firms insert bodies of text or other data into their corporate records. It’s a much faster and more efficient way to update information legally required for a transparency register or any other corporate record. Plus, these are code-free platforms, which means you don’t require tech gurus and experienced developers to manage your records. Simply open up the platform and the work can be complete within minutes!
Are you part of a Quebec-based corporation and in need of an efficient solution to complete your transparency register? Join the MinuteBox revolution so that you can comply with updated corporate governance in a fast and efficient manner while maintaining your commitment to accountability and transparency.