Congratulations! You’re going for it. Soon you will be your own boss. Once you have researched and perfected your business plan, you are ready to make your new business official. The first step is to register or incorporate your business. We have listed the complete process from start to finish for your convenience. So, let’s get down to business.
Step 1: Choose a business name
Setting up and structuring a business involves legal and financial implications. It is important to talk to a legal advisor early in the process. It is worth noting that while there are few restrictions on choosing a business name, you should still choose your business name carefully.
Remember that business names don’t have to be unique. It is possible that someone else had a similar idea and a duplicate business name may already exist. If you choose a name that is the same as, or even just similar to, an existing business name, corporation name, or trademark, the owners could take your business to court. If this happens, you may have to change your name or pay damages to the owners.
Step 2: Get a Business Name Report
It is recommended to have a lawyer research your chosen name through a NUANS business name report prior to registering it. This step can provide peace of mind knowing that your business name is uniquely yours.
Step 3: Fill out the forms
Once the business name has been finalized, you can use the sample forms on the Service Alberta website to submit the information required for the type of business that you are registering:
- Trade name/sole proprietorship
- Alberta Corporation
Step 4: Take your Alberta registration information to a service provider
The final step to register your business in to take your completed forms to locate an authorized Corporate Registry service provider in Alberta.
When you go to the authorized Corporate Registry service provider. You will need:
- Your business name information
- Business Name Report (if used)
- Valid ID
- Fee payment
If you have followed these steps and your documents meet the requirements, your business will be entered into the Corporate Registry and you’ll get a proof of filing.
Step 5: Keep your organization in good standing
There are some obligations and responsibilities that always remain with the business owner. Certain information must be registered with Corporate Registry on a periodic basis or when a change occurs.
- Corporations, societies, non-profit companies, and limited liability partnerships must submit an annual return (report) each year.
- Alberta corporations must provide updates within 15 days when the corporation changes its registered office, mailing address, or directors.
- An Alberta corporation may amend its name and any of its articles or structure information, such as share capital, restrictions on share transfers, etc.
Taxation and Employer Obligations
Anyone pursuing incorporation also needs to be aware of the tax obligations and responsibilities under provincial workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety and employment standards. Further information is available at:
If any of this feels complicated, take comfort knowing that we are here to make the business incorporation process easy. Tell us what you want to establish and we can inform you of your options to incorporate.