Brokerages

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The brokerage is the company consumers deal within the real estate, property management, and strata management industries. Every brokerage is run by a managing broker, and may have associate brokers and representatives licensed with the brokerage who carry out activities on behalf of the brokerage. 

A brokerage may be run as a corporation or partnership, or as a sole proprietorship. Brokerages may have branches, which also require licensing. You’ll find information and step-by-step instructions for licensing each business type, below. 

Opening a brokerage is a multi-step process. Please review all the steps before beginning the process of licensing a brokerage. Contact BCFSA’s Licensing Team if you have questions. 

Corporation or Partnership 

  • Applicants should seek approval of the intended legal or trade name prior to submitting an application for licensing. In order to assist applicants, BCFSA requests that you complete and submit the Request for Brokerage Name Approval form. 

    If the brokerage is going to do business under a name other than its legal name, the trade name or franchise name must be registered with the Registrar of Companies in Victoria prior to licensing. 

    If using a franchise name, please include a copy of your “consent for use of name” from the franchisor. A copy of your franchise or licensing agreement may also be requested. 

  • Submit the Application for Brokerage License: Corporation or Partnership form completed by either the officers and/or directors of the corporation, or partner(s) in the case of a partnership. 

    Include the appropriate fees. See licensing fees. If paying fees by credit card, please use our Credit Card Payment form

  • Submit the Director, Officer or Partner Information form completed by each director, officer or partner. If the individual is not currently licensed, or has not been licensed or registered as a director, officer or partner in BC under the Real Estate Services Act in the last 90 days, they must include an original criminal record check and photo identification with their form. 

    Regulatory Statement RESA21-002 (Required Form and Content of Licence Applications) requires every new director or officer of a corporate applicant to submit a Director, Officer or Partner Information form immediately following his/her election or appointment. 

    A change of partners in a partnership requires an application for a new brokerage license. 

  • Submit the Application for Representative, Associate or Managing Broker Licence form completed by a qualified managing broker, accompanied by the appropriate fees. 

    View BCFSA’s licensing fees. If paying fees by credit card, please use our Credit Card Payment form

  • To ensure a newly licensed brokerage has sufficient working capital available to meet its expenses for at least the first three months of operations, including any additional unanticipated expenses that may arise, BCFSA requires brokerage applicants to submit current financial statements (within the four months preceding the date of application). 

    The company must show three months projected expenses plus $5,000 in unimpaired working capital (i.e., cash in the bank), in order to qualify for licensing. If shareholders’ loans are required to achieve this position, it is necessary that a subordination agreement be executed between the shareholders and the applicant in the form provided by BCFSA. Eighty percent of accounts receivable may be treated as a current asset. 

    You will note that the balance sheet and supporting schedules provided in the application package include entries for accounts receivable, accounts payable, capital assets, among others. If the brokerage applicant is a brand-new incorporation with no past business or financial history, BCFSA is aware that some of these entries may be unnecessary, with possibly the only asset and liability entries being the required cash amount and a corresponding shareholders loan. 

    The Financial Statement must be: 

    Verified by the solemn declaration of the proposed managing broker or sole proprietor deposing to the accuracy of the financial statement; 

    OR 

    Certified by a chartered accountant or certified general accountant as to the accuracy of the financial statement. (Notice to Reader, Review Engagement Report or Audit Report are acceptable). 

    The Form A – Brokerage Operating Expenses, included in the Brokerage Application form, is intended to assist in estimating expenses. Submit a completed copy of the form with the financial statement. 

  • Fiscal Year (section 4-4(3)(c) of BCFSA’s Bylaws): 

    The proposed fiscal year of the applicant in relation to brokerage activities must be indicated on the application for brokerage licensing.

  • Business licence [Regulatory Statement RESA21-002 (Required Form and Content of Licence Applications)]: 

    Submit a copy of the city or municipal business licence. BCFSA is aware there is often a waiting period to receive an original business licence. As a result, a copy of the paid application for business licence showing the brokerage name and address is acceptable to BCFSA for the purpose of licensing. 

    If no business licence is required for the brokerage in your area, please submit a letter from the local government authority advising that a licence is not required. 

    If the licence is for a residential brokerage office under section 6 (residential brokerage offices) of the Real Estate Services Rules, the applicant must provide evidence satisfactory to BCFSA: 

    • That the local government bylaws applicable to the residence permit the brokerage to conduct business from the residence; and 
    • Of any restrictions established by local government bylaw limiting the persons who may conduct business from the brokerage office.  

    Please provide a copy of the home-based business bylaws for your area with the brokerage application. 

    In the case of a residential brokerage office, confirmation of the shareholder structure of the brokerage is also required. Find out further information regarding residential brokerage offices

  • Review the important information contained in BCFSA’s Real Estate Licensing Guidelines and in the Knowledge Base

Branch Office 

  • Submit the Application for Licence: Branch Office form completed by the managing broker, director, officer or partner of the brokerage to BCFSA, accompanied by the appropriate fee payment. View BCFSA’s licensing fees. 

  • Submit the Application for Representative, Associate or Managing Broker Licence form that is completed by a qualified managing broker. 

    View BCFSA’s licensing feesIf paying fees by credit card, please use our Credit Card Payment form.

  • Business licence [Regulatory Statement RESA21-002 (Required Form and Content of Licence Applications)]: 

    Submit a copy of the city or municipal business licence. BCFSA is aware there is often a waiting period to receive an original business licence. As a result, a copy of the paid application for business licence showing the company name and address is acceptable to BCFSA for the purpose of licensing. 

    If no business licence is required for the brokerage in your area, please submit a letter from the local government authority advising that a licence is not required. 

    If the licence is for a residential brokerage office under section 6 (residential brokerage offices) of the Real Estate Services Rules, the applicant must provide evidence satisfactory to BCFSA: 

    • That the local government bylaws applicable to the residence permit the brokerage to conduct business from the residence; and 
    • Of any restrictions established by local government bylaw limiting the persons who may conduct business from the brokerage office. 

    Find out more information regarding residential brokerage offices

  • Review the important information contained in BCFSA’s Real Estate Licensing Guidelines and in the Knowledge Base.

Sole Proprietor 

  • If you are doing business under a name other than your legal name, please obtain approval of the intended trade name from BCFSA prior to submitting an application for licensing. In order to assist applicants, BCFSA requests that you complete and submit the Request for Brokerage Name Approval form

    If you are using a trade or franchise name, it must be registered with the Registrar of Companies in Victoria prior to licensing. If using a franchise name, please include a copy of your “consent for use of name” from the franchisor. A copy of your franchise or licensing agreement may also be requested. 

  • Submit the Application for Brokerage licence: Sole Proprietor form completed by the applicant, accompanied by the appropriate fee payment. View BCFSA’s licensing fees

    If you are a relicensing applicant or have been unlicensed for more than 90 days, you must submit an original criminal record check and photo identification along with your application. Find out more about obtaining a criminal record check

    If you have never been licensed in British Columbia and this is a first-time application, you must also provide an original criminal record check and photo identification. 

  • Financial Statements [Regulatory Statement RESA21-002 (Required Form and Content of Licence Applications)]: 

    Submit a current (i.e., within the four months preceding the date of application) certified financial statement as evidence of the total unimpaired working capital requirement as noted on the Application for Brokerage licence: Sole Proprietor form. Completion of Form A – Brokerage Operating Expenses, is also required. An unconditional subordination agreement must be completed if any capital has been borrowed. In order to assist applicants, copies of the required financial forms have been enclosed for your use. 

    The Financial Statement must be: 

    • Verified by the solemn declaration of the sole proprietor deposing as to the accuracy of the financial statement;
       
      OR 
    • Certified by a chartered accountant or certified general accountant as to the accuracy of the financial statement (Notice to Reader, Review Engagement Report or Audit Report are acceptable). 
  • Fiscal Year [Regulatory Statement RESA21-002 (Required Form and Content of Licence Applications)]: 

    The proposed fiscal year of the sole proprietorship in relation to brokerage activities must be indicated on the application for licensing.

  • Business licence [Regulatory Statement RESA21-002 (Required Form and Content of Licence Applications)]: 

    Submit a copy of the city or municipal business licence. BCFSA is aware there is often a waiting period to receive an original business licence. As a result, a copy of the paid application for business licence showing the brokerage name and address is acceptable to BCFSA for the purpose of licensing. 

    If no business licence is required for the brokerage in your area, please submit a letter from the local government authority advising that a licence is not required. 

    If the licence is for a residential brokerage office under section 6 [residential brokerage offices] of the Real Estate Services Rules, the applicant must provide evidence satisfactory to BCFSA: 

    • That the local government bylaws applicable to the residence permit the brokerage to conduct business from the residence; and
    • Of any restrictions established by local government bylaw limiting the persons who may conduct business from the brokerage office 

    Find out further information regarding a residential brokerage office

  • Review the important information contained in BCFSA’s Real Estate Licensing Guidelines and in the Knowledge Base