We present a connection between the BFV-complex (abbreviation for Batalin-Fradkin-Vilkovisky complex) and the strong homotopy Lie algebroid associated to a coisotropic submanifold of a Poisson manifold. We prove that the latter structure can be derived from the BFV-complex by means of homotopy transfer along contractions. Consequently the BFV-complex and the strong homotopy Lie algebroid structure are L ∞ quasi-isomorphic and control the same formal deformation problem.
However there is a gap between the non-formal information encoded in the BFV-complex and in the strong homotopy Lie algebroid respectively. We prove that there is a one-to-one correspondence between coisotropic submanifolds given by graphs of sections and equivalence classes of normalized Maurer-Cartan elemens of the BFV-complex. This does not hold if one uses the strong homotopy Lie algebroid instead.