The Societies Act requires all BC non-profits keep what are called “official records” and to make some or all of these records available to directors, members of the society, and members of the public. Non-profits also keep many kinds of documents and records that are not “official records”. These FAQs are about official records.

Official records are those a non-profit must keep, either in digital or paper format, under sections 20(1) and 20(2) of the Societies Act. These are records about governance, members, directors, and finances of the non-profit. For example, non-profits are required to keep governance documents such as its certificate of incorporation, constitution, and bylaws.

The Societies Act requires a non-profit to keep a register  of the names of its directors along with a piece of contact information provided by them. The non-profit must also have proof of their consent to act as directors, the date they were elected/appointed, and the date they stopped holding office.

The Societies Act requires a non-profit to keep a register of members' names along with one piece of contact information provided by the member. This is called the membership register. The register is not  a member directory or contact list, it is an official record.

A complete set of minutes lists the date, time, location, members in attendance, and purpose/type of meeting. The minutes are intended to reflect the decisions taken at the meeting not to be a verbatim record of all of what was said.  should also include the name of the chair at the meeting, movers and seconders of motions (if required), and specific outcomes of votes e.g., whether resolution was passed or defeated.

Financial statements and accounting records are two different types of records.  Accounting records is a term that covers the general register where all transactions are recorded as well as things like bank statements, credit card receipts, and invoices.  Non-profits generate financial statements from the accounting records. Financial statements provide a broad overview of a non-profit’s financial position. The statement includes a balance sheet and a statement of revenues and expenditures.