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Business Registration in Alberta

Part 1: Steps to Starting a Business in Alberta

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Starting a business in Alberta? The basic procedure for setting up a business is the same, no matter where you live in Canada, but the details are different in each province and territory. This article will guide you through the business registration steps you need to follow to get your new sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation legally set up in Alberta. (For information about registering your business in other provinces, see the sidebar, or visit my Business Registration library.)

Step 1: Choose a form of business ownership

When you’re starting a business in Alberta (or anywhere else in Canada), before going through business registration you need to decide how your business will be organized legally. In Canada there are basically four choices, a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, or a cooperative. (For a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the four forms of business ownership, see my article, Choosing a Form of Business Ownership.)

Once you've decided which form of business you're going to use, you're ready to choose a name for your new business.

Step 2: Choose a name

The name you choose will depend on what form of business you’ve chosen to operate, as there are particular name limitations for each form of business ownership.

If, for example, you’ve chosen to set up your business as a sole proprietorship using your own name, without adding any other words, you don’t need to register your business in Alberta.

However, if you choose to operate a sole proprietorship under any other name, or want to set up a partnership or corporation, you need to have your name approved by the provincial Corporate Registry. In Alberta, the name of a sole proprietorship is also referred to as a trade name.

Let's look at the different procedures for registering the business name of your sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Continue on to the next page...

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