WorkSafeBC Home

Owners of incorporated companies

You are required to register for WorkSafeBC insurance coverage if you own an incorporated company and the firm is actively engaged in business.

In incorporated companies, shareholders, directors, officers of the corporation and principals (officers who also own shares in the corporation) who are actively involved in the company are considered to be workers and must have coverage. They cannot purchase Personal Optional Protection, WorkSafeBC's optional insurance plan, so you'll need to report shareholder earnings when you report your payroll to us.

If an incorporated company is required to be registered but is not registered and a shareholder is injured, the claim will be rejected unless the shareholder can demonstrate that he or she was not personally responsible for registering the company.


The following are exemptions to mandatory registration for an incorporated company.

Personal service corporations

Personal service corporations are not required to register for coverage. Corporations are deemed to be a personal service corporation when no worker is employed other than a shareholder and the shareholder clearly falls into the worker category. In this case, the shareholder becomes a worker of the service recipient and payroll would be reported and payable through the service recipient's WorkSafeBC account.

Management company or inescapable phase of operations

A business that provides management services or is integral to an operating firm’s business operation may be exempt from registration. The exemption may apply in situations when two companies have a degree of common ownership and the only function of one of the firms is to provide management services or labour to the other firm's business operations. In these cases, the firm providing management or labour services to the operating company may be exempt and payroll would be reported and payable through the operating company’s WorkSafeBC account.

Personal financial holding companies

You're not required to register for coverage if you own an incorporated personal financial holding company and you don't employ workers other than the principal shareholders.

The activities of your company must be limited to the management of personal investments such as:

  • Investments in publicly-traded stocks and bonds
  • Interest bearing financial instruments such as GICs (Guaranteed Investment Certificates)
  • Non-revenue producing land, buildings and/or equipment where there is no development, construction or direct rental activity