Many Canadian community chambers and boards of trade are incorporated under the Boards of Trade Act, which is administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
For chambers and boards of trade, registration under the Boards of Trade Act means a geographic territory is registered and associated with the chamber, provided the territory is not already registered with another chamber. To be registered under the Boards of Trade Act, a chamber of commerce must represent the interests of all businesses—i.e. not solely the interests of a particular sector or cultural group—that operate within its region. The name of the chamber of commerce will also be registered under the act.
Through the act’s provisions, individual members of a chamber of commerce are absolved of liability for the debts of the chamber, provided annual returns are made in accordance with the provisions of the Boards of Trade Act.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has created an excellent website with tools for your use if you are thinking about incorporation or thinking of modifications to your incorporation.
In forming a chamber of commerce or board of trade, you will want to have a set of bylaws which set in place the rules for your organization’s good governance. And if you are applying for incorporation, will be a must. Corporations Canada has created a Bylaws Builder, which, while it does not meet the specific requirements of the Boards of Trade Act, does reflect best practices in good governance and is a base for building a strong set of bylaws.
Consult the Boards of Trade Act.