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How to Register a Business in Alberta

Looking forward to starting a new business? Congratulations – that’s very exciting! But before you can get your business up and running, you’ll need to register it. The good news is, if you live in Alberta, registering your business is a relatively simple process.

In this piece, we’ll strive to make that process even more straightforward, giving you a step-by-step play on how to register your business in Alberta. So let’s start with step 1:

Step 1: Decide which type of business you are going to be operating

There are three different types of businesses in Alberta, each of which is legally organized differently. To register your business, you’ll first need to determine which type of business you are running. Here are the three different options:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: A business which is owned by one person (you), wherein the business and business owner are one of the same. Example: Freelance Writer, IT consultant, Artist.
  2. Partnership: A legal business relationship between 2 or more people or companies. Partnerships can include limited partnerships, as well as limited liability partnerships
  3. Corporation: A business entity that is owned by shareholders. Corporations can include for-profit or not-for-profit businesses

Step 2: Choose a Business Name

Depending on what type of business you are registering, there are different rules and regulations for selecting a name. If you are operating as a sole proprietor, for example, you have the right to use your own name as your business name without registering it at all. This is called a “Trade name.” But if you have a partnership or corporation, you will need to have your business name approved by the Provincial Corporate Registry. 

If you would like to see if anyone else is using your business name, you can get a NUANS (Name Search Report). In Alberta, you are allowed to use the same business name as another business, but you risk the other business taking you to court if you do. You may have to pay damages to the opposing party or change your business name in such a case. 

Step 3: Register Your Business Name

Once you’ve selected your business name, the last step is to register it. To do so, you must fill out and send in the appropriate forms. You can find them on the Alberta Website under the “Fill out the Forms” section. Forms will vary depending on which type of business you are registering, so be sure that you select the appropriate one for your business. 

Registering for a Corporation

If you’re registering for a corporation, the process is a little more complicated. First, you’ll need to decide which type of corporation you are registering for. This will be based on the number of shareholders within the company and whether or not shares will be distributed to the public.

You will also need to include a lot more information in your forms and documents, including the name and address of the corporation and information about directors of the corporation. 

In conclusion, don’t stress out about registering your company or small business in Alberta because the process is relatively straightforward and simple. Figure out which type of business you are operating, select a business name, and fill out the appropriate forms to register that name – it’s that easy. 

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