How to Register a Business in Alberta, Canada
By Michael Traikos | May 31, 2001
The process of registering a business varies from province to province. Here's an overview of how you would register a business in Alberta, based on information available in April 2007.
This article was updated January 14, 2016.
STEP 1: SELECTING THE TYPE OF BUSINESS
The first step is to identify what type of business you want to operate, and the type of identity (sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation) that will meet your needs. The requirements to register a business in Alberta depend on the type and structure of your business. A lawyer or accountant should be consulted if you are not sure which type of business best meets your needs.
STEP 2: REGISTERING YOUR BUSINESS
Once the type of business is established, you can reserve your business name. This is done by filing a business declaration form, a key component in the registration process. The form asks you to provide basic information about the company and its owner. Based on the type of business you are operating, you will fill out either a Declaration of Trade Name form (for sole proprietorship) or Declaration of Partnership form. A declaration of partnership form, for example, will require you to include:
(a)Name of the declarant
(b) the company name
(c) the company's type
(d) the company's address
(e) the partnerships start and end date (or indefinite)
(f) the day of declaration
(g) the occupation and addresses of the partners
(h) the name of the officer authorizing the declaration
You can find the forms for Declaration of Trade Names and Declaration of Partnerships on the Service Alberta website here:
Registering a trade name in Alberta does not mean that you own that name. Many sole proprietorships and partnerships in that province operate with duplicate names, as there is no requirement under the Partnership Act for a business name to be unique. As well, Alberta Registries has no obligation to avoid name duplication or to advise anyone registering a name that has been previously registered.
Corporations, on the other hand, must choose a unique name. Alberta Registries Online (http://www.albertaregistriesonline.com/) ranks and lists names of registry agents that can perform a NUANS search that will provide you with a list of businesses with similar names. A NUANS report is required when registering a corporate business and either the original or a carbon copy of the NUANS report must be given to the accredited service provider at the time of incorporation. Also, the NUANS must be less than 91 days old when submitted.
STEP 3: AUTHORIZATION
Once the form is filled out, it must be filed with an authorized service provider.
These are private sector firms - such as accounting firms, legal firms or search houses - authorized by the Alberta government to examine your application to ensure that it meets legislative requirements. The authorized service provider processes the request and issues a proof of filing to verify that the registration has occurred.
An important point to remember is that fees charged by private sector firms are not government regulated. So, shop around for the best price. Make sure that the service provider is authorized and the fee is consistent with the area's other service providers. More information on Alberta's Corporate Registry Service Providers can be found here: http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/719.cfm.
STEP 4: FILING FEES
|Name Searches||$1 + Service fees|
*NOTE: Authorized service providers can charge additional fees that may add a few hundred dollars to the cost.
FINAL STEP: MORE INFORMATION
Service Alberta's web site at:
Government and Program Support Services
3rd Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street, Edmonton, AB, T5J 4L4
Telephone: (780) 422-2657
Fax: (780) 427-1120
Toll Free: 1-800-272-9675.
Service Alberta, Corporate Registry