A corporation is an independent legal entity that exists separate and apart from its owners (shareholders). If you are unsure of how to structure your business (corporation, partnership or a sole proprietorship) it is recommended that you seek accounting advice before continuing.
To incorporate a company in Alberta, you must complete 5 following steps:
1. CHOOSE A CORPORATION NAME
You will need to choose a name to register your corporation in Alberta. Your business name must be unique and should consist of 3 components; a distinctive component, a descriptive component and a legal component.
An example of a corporation name that includes these three components is “Ted’s National Freight Ltd.”.
Distinctive Component: A word or location that distinguishes your corporation name from others. In the example, “Ted’s” is the distinctive component.
Descriptive Component: A word or short phrase that describes what your corporation will do or what it is. ‘National Freight’ is the descriptive component in the example above.
Legal Component: All corporations in Alberta are required to have a legal element at the end of their name. In the example, ‘Ltd’ is the legal component. Other legal elements permitted include Corp. and Inc. Other options can be found on Service Alberta’s website.
Alternatively, your corporation may also use a 3 component ‘number’ name. Corporate Registry assigns the number portion of the name, Alberta will form the second part of the name and you may choose the legal component. For example: 123456 Alberta Ltd.
2. OBTAIN AN ALBERTA NUANS REPORT
No two corporations can be identically named. To confirm your corporation name is unique, you must obtain a NUANS (Newly Updated Automated Name Search) report, unless opting for a ‘number’ name. To obtain the NUANS report, you can either visit a physical NUANS service provider in your area or request a copy online from an authorized NUANS search house.
3. CHOOSE A DIRECTOR FOR THE CORPORATION.
Elect or appoint at least one director for your corporation. The director(s) must be an adult and at least one quarter (25%) of the board of directors must be Canadian residents.
4. FILL OUT THE INCORPORATION FORMS
You will need to fill out and print 4 separate forms:
- Article of Incorporation form
- Notice of Address form
- Notice of Directors form
- Notice of English/French Name Equivalency form.
All forms are found on Service Alberta’s website.
5. TAKE YOUR INFORMATION TO A SERVICE PROVIDER
After the previous steps are complete, you need to take your information to a Registry Agent or Authorized Alberta Service Provider. You will need to provide the following:
- Your 4 completed incorporation forms
- NUANS report
- Valid ID
- Incorporation of an Alberta corporation fee payment
If this process seems too tedious and you would rather focus on what you do best – running your business. Book an appointment with our Corporate Structuring team. They will be able to advise you on the best business form, structure your business in a strategic manner and assist you in incorporating your business.
Once you are incorporated our Accounting and Tax team will be more than happy to assist you with your bookkeeping, accounting, corporate tax planning and other regulatory requirements.