Community Interest Company (CIC) Registration Process

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Download the CIC Act to see the details here: CIC Act Sec 28 Ch 38 Effective June 15, legislation and regulations in Nova Scotia now allow businesses formed under the Companies Act to be designated as a Community Interest Company (CIC). These companies will have characteristics of both businesses and non-profits, combining entrepreneurship with a social purpose.

Social enterprises use business practices to advance health, social, environmental, cultural or other community goals. Examples include farmers’ markets, used clothing banks, community-owned wind farms and businesses run by charitable organizations or employing a marginalized or disenfranchised group. They often have a buy local focus and are gaining momentum worldwide as people seek to create and support businesses that contribute to the common good.

“Community interest companies will help social enterprises build even more social, cultural and environmental value in small and large communities in every corner of Nova Scotia,” said David Upton of our company: Common Good Solutions Inc., Halifax. “The implementation of this legislation indicates a strong government commitment to building an economy that creates real companies and jobs to meet the real needs of all Nova Scotia citizens.”

What’s very exciting for us is that the legislation and regulations give social enterprises the opportunity to be designated, something they can promote to build more consumer support and grow their businesses.

Some of our clients and friends, who have been waiting with anticipation for this announcement to happen, are raring to start this process.  To help them and anyone else interested in becoming a CIC, we’ve outlined the process required to register as a CIC in Nova Scotia below. We obtained this information from the Registry of Joint Stock Companies yesterday afternoon and are happy to share it with you now.

There are no prescribed forms to incorporate a company under the Companies Act or to seek designation under the Community Interest Companies Act. However, here is a list of what the Registry of Joint Stock Companies will require which can be used as a guide:

  • Name must be reserved for incorporation, with all conditions met.
  • Name must have one of the following the expressions at the end of the name:
    • “Community Interest Company”,
    • “C.I.C”,
    • “CIC”,
    • “société d’intérêt communautaire”,
    • “S.I.C.”, or
    • “SIC”
  • Memorandum of Association – it must comply with Section 10 of the Companies Act of Nova Scotia; examples are at the back of the Companies Act of Nova Scotia. The Memo must state the community purpose and also include the following statement: “This company is a community interest company, and as such, has a community purpose. This company is restricted, in accordance with the Community Interest Companies Act, in its ability to pay dividends and to distribute its assets on dissolution or otherwise.”
  • Articles of Association – these can either be filed as per Section 22 of the Companies Act of Nova Scotia, or as per Section 21you can adopt Table A from the Schedules within the Companies Act of Nova Scotia.
  • Statutory Declaration – as per Section 28(2) of the Companies Act of Nova Scotia; an example of this is available on the Registry of Joint Stock Companies website at www.rjsc.ca
  • There must be at least 3 directors
  • If there is more than one subscriber to the memorandum, we would require consent from each subscriber stating they consent to being a director of the company.
  • Each director must also provide a signed declaration which states:

“I, (insert name), hereby declare that I shall exercise the powers and perform the functions of director of (insert name of cic) in accordance with the community purpose set out in its memorandum of association and designation documents, as required by Section 12 of the Community Interest Companies Act.”

  • Community Interest Plan signed by all Directors
  • A declaration that the company will not carry on activities with a political purpose signed by all Directors.
  • Fee of $454.75 (which includes $336.40 for the incorporation and $118.35 for the first year’s registration).

For more information on Common Good, contact us at david@commongoodsolutions.ca and 902-790-2600.   For more info on registering a CIC, visit

To chat with a lawyer regarding the incorporation, we recommend contacting Richard Bridge, Lawyer for Charities, who helped draft the CIC legislation for NS and the CCC legislation for BC.  Richard@lawyerforcharities.ca and http://lawyerforcharities.ca

Download the CIC Act to see the details here: CIC Act Sec 28 Ch