News release

Amendments to the Companies Act will Protect Citizens and Strengthen the Economy

Changes to the Companies Act, tabled today, Feb. 25, will increase transparency and help to prevent companies incorporated in Nova Scotia from being used for illegal activity.

The amendments will require companies to collect, maintain and update information about who owns, controls or benefits from a company and the income it generates. Law enforcement and tax authorities will be able to access this information from the company to help counter illegal activity like international tax evasion and avoidance, money laundering and other criminal activities.

“Helping to prevent companies operating in our province from being used for tax evasion, money laundering and other illegal activity will protect our citizens and support a strong economy,” said Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab.

The amendments will come into effect on proclamation.

Quick Facts:

  • an incorporated company or corporation is a legal entity separate from its owners and is incorporated through the Companies Act
  • a beneficial owner is the person who directly or indirectly owns, controls or benefits from a company and the income it generates
  • at the December 2017 federal-provincial-territorial Finance Ministers meeting, ministers agreed in principle to put safeguards in place to prevent the misuse of corporations and other legal entities for illegal activities
  • similar amendments are in effect federally and in Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia

Additional Resources:

For more information on the Finance Ministers agreement to strengthen beneficial ownership transparency visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/programs/agreements/strengthen-beneficial-ownership-transparency.html

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Media Contact:

Krista Higdon
902-722-1461 Email: