What is Body Corporate?
Body corporate is an archaic term for corporation.
A body corporate refers to an organization or group of persons that is identified by a particular name and that acts, or may act, as an entity.
When land is subdivided and registered to establish a community titles scheme, a body corporate is created. The scheme may be a duplex, a residential unit block, a shopping complex, a high rise apartment or a business park. Every owner of a lot in a community titles scheme automatically becomes a body corporate member.
The objective of a body corporate is to manage the issues of mutual and necessary interest to all the owners. These issues fall into the categories of:
> physical property issues
> issues dealing with people living together
Physical property comprises of gardens, common building structures and shared assets such as tennis courts and recreation clubs.
Issues related to people living together may involve behavior, noise and parking or anything wherein the actions of a particular resident have an impact on the other occupants.
According to the legislation, however, the body corporate has only a limited purpose. They must ensure that the common property and the corporation's body assets are administered for the benefit of the owners of lots included in the scheme; the common property is maintained to the extent that it is structurally fit; the community management statement, including by-laws affecting the common property, are enforced. They must also carry out other functions given to them under legislation.
The body corporate can enter into contracts, employ staff and generally deal with property, while fulfilling these mandatory duties. However, it cannot manage businesses, such as a restaurant, tour operation or letting agency, in contrary to a commercial company. Nonetheless, the body corporate may involve itself in business activities, such as investing funds, which are necessary to properly carry out its functions.
The body corporate makes decisions either at a general meeting of all the owners or at a meeting of the committee for the body corporate. No individual can make a decision, acting in isolation.
Every lot owner of the body corporate contributes in the form of levies, which are pooled to maintain the community and common areas. The amount and how often the contributions are to be made, in order to properly run the body corporate, are decided by all owners at the yearly general meeting.
The Canadian corporation:
Both the provinces and the federal government in Canada have corporate statutes, and hence the incorporation is either federal or provincial/territorial. The Acts of Parliament passed before the introduction of general corporation law caused many older corporations to rise in Canada.
The Hudson's Bay Company is the oldest corporation in Canada. Though the Company's business has always been based in Canada, its Royal Charter was issued in England by King Charles II in 1670, and became a Canadian charter by amendment in 1970 when it shifted its corporate headquarters from London to Canada.
Since 1975, the main law regulating the incorporation in Canada is Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA). The government firm responsible for the incorporation is Corporations Canada.