Exciting news! We’ve added companies from the Canadian province of British Columbia to the OpenCorporates database.
And not a moment too soon, as the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia (or Cullen Commission for short) just published its eagerly anticipated findings last week – after 138 days of hearings (including our Founder Chris Taggart giving evidence).
The Commission’s mandate included making findings on the extent, growth and methods of money laundering, and making recommendations. We welcome that the report recommended the province work with federal and provincial partners to ensure that ‘a publicly accessible pan-Canadian corporate beneficial ownership registry’ is put in place before the end of 2023 – with recommendations of validation, verification and authentication of data provided to it.
Given the prolific use of legal corporate structures (i.e. companies) in money laundering and other financial crimes, it’s more important than ever that the dataset about the companies that exist in British Columbia is more openly available for all – not to mention how companies and people can use it every day to know who they’re in business with.
OpenCorporates will continue to advocate that company information is made publicly available as open data – to enable the global analysis of corporate structures, to tackle financial crime and to create a more trusted business environment.
About the dataset
The data is obtained from a digital trust initiative named OrgBook BC provided by the British Colombia Government’s Ministry of Citizens’ Services. Through this official source, we are able to acquire data about companies registered in British Columbia through the British Columbia Corporate Registry Authority.
OrgBook BC provides a web portal to easily search for a company. It also has an API, which we currently use. This allows us to easily integrate the new data into OpenCorporates and update companies that have had a recent change.
At time of writing, new incorporations in the British Columbia registry are typically reflected in our database after a period of between 7 and 10 days.
The following fields have been made available in OpenCorporates from this dataset:
- Incorporation Date
- Company Name
- Company Number: all companies registered in British Columbia have this identifier as this is what is used to register a company there.
- Business Number: not all British Columbian companies have this identifier. The Business Number (BN) is part of a unique federal government numbering system that identifies a body corporate and the accounts it maintains with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Companies registered with the British Columbia Corporate Registry do not all have a business number. We collect this if there is one available for a given company.
- Company Type
Additional notes about the dataset
Currently, data on company addresses or officers is not offered by the source.
However in the OrgBook API specification and in the web search portal there are settings to search for the address, which for now results in zero entries. This potentially means we could acquire address data in the future.
The OrgBook API uses codes for a lot of the data fields that without lookups would make little sense. Currently in our API approach, we are using the following lookups to translate filings, company type and status codes, which are not well documented in the OrgBook API documentation. These look ups can be found here for reference.
We have also applied some logic to the filings we collect. Currently the OrgBook API publishes the last filing for a given company record, and overwrites that filing if there is a new one. To prevent that from happening in OpenCorporates, we have included logic that would preserve the filings and will create a timeline of these every time a new update is added.
How to access British Columbia company data via OpenCorporates
Need to look up companies record-by-record? Simply search on our website now. All the data is there. As part of our mission, we make all our data available online.
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You can call on the data programmatically via our API, to power workflows, tools or automated processes.
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- In Bulk
Need the entire dataset in one go? Enquire about our Bulk Data.
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- API subscribers: you can call on the data right now.
View our API Reference >
- Bulk Data subscribers: if you subscribe to our Global or North America Bulk Data subscriptions, then British Columbia data will have already been included in your most recent data delivery.
Public benefit cause?
As part of our mission, we make our API and Bulk Data products available at no cost to social good causes – such as investigative reporters or NGOs.
Think you qualify? Enquire here >
We’re working hard to complete our North American coverage by incorporating more new Canadian jurisdictions into the OpenCorporates database, as well as the US state of Illinois when it becomes available to us.