College Guide to Incorporating

A physical therapist may incorporate her or his practice as a health profession corporation under Part 4 of the Health Professions Act and Part 7 of the College’s Bylaws. The relevant sections of the Act and Bylaws, as well as applicable policies, are noted below.

Please note: The College issues permits for health profession corporations pursuant to Part 4 of the Health Professions Act and Section 62 of the College Bylaws.  College staff is not qualified to offer advice about tax matters or corporation structures. It is strongly suggested that you seek legal and/or accounting advice.

The following  in an incomplete summary of the incorporation process as it does not include the relevant regulations from the Health Professions Act, the College Bylaws and the College Policies and Procedures.

Procedure for Obtaining a Permit

A health profession corporation may not carry on business unless it holds a valid permit from the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia. A health profession corporation that holds a valid permit may not carry on any activities, other than the provision of physical therapy services or services that are directly associated with the provision of those services, that would, for purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada), give rise to income from business.

In order to obtain a permit, you must:

1. Obtain approval from the College for your corporate name. Request, in writing, approval from the College for your  proposed corporation name. This request may come directly from you or from your legal counsel. The College will respond to your request by either FAX or snail mail.

The name for a physical therapist’s corporation must consist of an individual’s last name (first name and middle name(s) are optional); or if more than one individual, their last names, followed by the words:

  • “physiotherapist corporation,”
  • “physiotherapist corp.,
  • “physical therapist corporation”, or
  • “physical therapist corp.”

2. Reserve your corporate name. Apply to the Registrar of Companies to reserve your proposed name. Although this is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended, as it will avoid disputes as to entitlement to an intended name.

3. Register your corporation. Apply to the Registrar of Companies to register your corporation under the B.C. Business Corporations Act. You may wish to obtain legal or accounting advice about how to structure your corporation. College staff are not qualified to offer legal advice about tax matters or how to structure your corporation.

Voting and Non-Voting Shareholders

All voting shares of the corporation must be legally and beneficially owned by registered physical therapists. See section 43(1)(c) of the Health Professions Act.

Non-voting shares may be owned by a variety of specified individuals, including you, your spouse, your common law spouse, your children and other relatives who live with you. See section 43(1)(d) of the Health Professions Act.

Ceasing to Qualify as a Shareholder

If a shareholder ceases to qualify as a shareholder (e.g., through ceasing to be a member of College, divorce, or ceasing to co-habit) the Board may, after a hearing, revoke the permit issued to that corporation or impose a fine up to $10,000. See section 44 of the Act. It is, therefore, recommended that you  include in your articles of incorporation provisions for the immediate and automatic disposition of shares in these circumstances.

4. Apply for a Corporation Permit. Once your corporation has been registered under the B.C. Business Corporations Act, you may apply for a permit. Please forward to the College:

  • the completed application form; download an application form here.
  • a true (i.e., notarized) copy of the certificate of incorporation from the B.C. Registrar of Companies, and any change of name certificates, and
  • $275.00 permit fee (by cheque or money order, in Canadian funds only, made payable to College of Physical Therapists of BC).
  • Please DO NOT include a copy of the company’s articles.

If your application is complete and complies with the Act and Bylaws, the Registrar will issue a health profession corporation permit entitling your corporation to carry on the business of providing physical therapy services to the public.

5. Annual renewal of your Corporation Permit. Corporation permits are valid from April 1 to March 31 and must be renewed anually.  Your renewal forms will be mailed to you, at your Corporation address, no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of your permit. The complete forms, plus the annual renewal fee of $75.00 must be returned to the College no later than March 31.

Length of Permit: The permit is valid from the date issued by the College until March 31.

Public Disclosure of Corporate Status

A health profession corporation must disclose on all letterhead and business cards, and in all other advertisements that the professional services are being provided by a health profession corporation. See section 62(8) of the Bylaws. “All other advertising” is interpreted to include brochures and exclude signage, logos, and newspaper or other advertisements or patient education materials. If a corporation is using a trade name, e.g., ABC Physiotherapy Clinic, both the trade name and the corporate name must appear on the letterhead, business cards and advertisements.

Change of Corporate Name

If you intend to change the name of your health profession corporation, you must apply to the College for name change approval. A new certificate will be issued. See section 62(7) of the Bylaws.

Change in Other Corporate Information

The president of a corporation, or his or her designate, must promptly advise the College, in writing, of any changes to the information that was contained in the application for a permit or most recent application for a renewal permit.

More Information

For more information, please email