Starting a business in Alberta is Really exciting venture, but it comes with its share of responsibilities. Anyone can own and operate a Alberta business. This process of registering your business can seem daunting. With the right guidance of RegiCorp, it’s straightforward and manageable. This guide will walk you through the key steps to register your business effectively in Alberta.
Table of Contents:
- Alberta Business Structures
- Alberta Sole Proprietorship
- General Partnership
- Limited Partnership
- Limited Liability Partnership
- Alberta Trade Name
- Alberta Corporation
- Register your business in Alberta with RegiCorp
- Choose Your business name
- Obtain a Business Name Report
- Requirements to Register Alberta Business Name
- Obtain a Federal Business number and Tax accounts
- Obtain Business Licenses & Permits
- FAQ on Business Structures in Alberta
Understanding Alberta Business Structures:
In Alberta there are different business structures exist. You can choose one of the popular forms from, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Before diving into the registration process, it’s important to understand the different types of business structures:
Sole Proprietorship: Ideal for individual entrepreneurs, this structure is the simplest and involves minimal paperwork.
Partnership: This involves two or more individuals sharing ownership and responsibilities.
Corporation: A more complex structure, offering liability protection and other benefits.
Among the Business structure Partnership has subcategories:
- General partnership
- limited partnership
- limited liability partnership
Except Corporation, sole proprietorships, partnerships and trade name, all together called Business name in Alberta.
These 4 types if business names are registered under the partnership Act.
Let’s explain the above forms to get your exact decision.
An Alberta Sole Proprietorship is a business structure in Alberta, Canada, where the business is owned and operated by a single individual. It’s one of the simplest and most common forms of business ownership. In this structure, there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business.
Key characteristics of an Alberta Sole Proprietorship:
Simplicity: It’s easy to set up and requires less paperwork and lower startup costs compared to other business structures.
Control: The sole proprietor has complete control over the business decisions and operations.
Taxation: Profits from the business are treated as the personal income of the owner and taxed accordingly.
Personal Liability: The owner is personally liable for all business debts and obligations. This means personal assets can be used to cover business debts.
No Separate Business Entity: The business does not exist separately from the owner. Therefore, it ceases to exist when the owner decides to stop business operations or upon the owner’s death.
This structure is often chosen by individual entrepreneurs who want to start a small or medium-sized business and maintain full control and decision-making power.
Alberta General Partnership is a business structure in Alberta, Canada, where two or more individuals, or entities, collaborate to operate a business. This structure allows partners to share profits, liabilities, and management responsibilities.
Key aspects of an Alberta General Partnership:
Shared Ownership: Partners jointly own the business and share in the profits and losses.
Joint Liability: Each partner is personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership, potentially including those incurred by other partners.
Management and Decision Making: All partners typically participate in the day-to-day management and decision-making processes of the business.
Taxation: The partnership itself is not taxed. Instead, profits and losses are passed through to the individual partners, who then report this on their personal tax returns.
No Separate Legal Entity: Similar to a sole proprietorship, a general partnership is not a separate legal entity from its owners.
General partnerships in Alberta are often formed with a partnership agreement, which outlines the terms of the partnership, such as profit sharing, decision-making processes, and procedures for resolving disputes or dissolving the partnership.
Alberta Limited Partnership is a business structure in Alberta, Canada, characterized by having both general and limited partners. This structure offers a blend of features from general partnerships and corporations.
Features of an Alberta Limited Partnership include:
General and Limited Partners: The partnership consists of one or more general partners who manage the business and are fully liable for its debts, and one or more limited partners who provide capital but have limited liability.
Limited Liability for Limited Partners: Limited partners’ liability is restricted to their investment in the partnership. They are not responsible for the business’s debts and obligations beyond their contribution.
Management: General partners handle the day-to-day management, while limited partners typically have no role in management.
Taxation: Like general partnerships, limited partnerships pass profits and losses directly to the partners, who then report them on their personal tax returns.
Investment Potential: Limited partnerships are often used for investment purposes, as they allow investors (limited partners) to contribute funds while limiting their personal liability.
This structure is often chosen for businesses that require a mix of direct management (by the general partners) and investment capital without additional liability (from the limited partners).
An Alberta Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a business structure primarily used by professional services like law firms or accounting firms in Alberta, Canada. It combines elements of partnerships and corporations.
Characteristics of an Alberta LLP :
Limited Personal Liability: Each partner’s liability is limited to their own actions and the actions of those they directly supervise. Partners are not typically responsible for the malpractice of other partners.
Professional Management: Partners in an LLP usually participate directly in managing the business, unlike in a corporation where shareholders may not manage the company.
Taxation: An LLP is typically taxed like a general partnership, with income and losses passing through to the partners’ personal tax returns.
Flexibility in Operation: LLPs offer more flexibility in operation and management compared to a corporation.
Legal Requirements: To form an LLP in Alberta, specific legal requirements must be met, including a registration process that distinguishes it from general partnerships and corporations.
LLPs are ideal for professionals who seek the benefits of a partnership, particularly the tax treatment, while also wanting limited liability protection.
Alberta Trade Name, also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, is a business identifier used in Alberta, Canada. It’s the name under which a company operates that is different from its registered legal name.
A trade name is also known as a sole proprietorship.
Features of an Alberta Trade Name:
Business Identity: A trade name allows a business to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of the company or the owner’s name.
Flexibility in Branding: It provides flexibility for branding, allowing businesses to create a marketable name that resonates with their target audience.
Registration Requirement: In Alberta, trade names must be registered if they are different from the legal name of the business.
No Legal Entity Status: A trade name is not a separate legal entity. It’s simply a name used for business purposes.
Use Across Business Structures: Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations can all use trade names for their operations in Alberta.
Registering a trade name is a crucial step for businesses wanting to market themselves differently from their formal registration names.
Alberta Corporation is a business structure in Alberta, Canada, recognized as a separate legal entity from its owners, known as shareholders. This structure is more complex than sole proprietorships or partnerships but offers significant advantages.
Characteristics of an Alberta Corporation include:
Limited Liability: Shareholders have limited liability, meaning their personal assets are protected from the corporation’s debts and legal actions.
Separate Legal Entity: A corporation exists independently from its owners, allowing it to own property, enter contracts, sue, and be sued.
Ownership Structure: Ownership is based on shareholding, where each shareholder owns a portion of the corporation.
Perpetual Existence: Corporations continue to exist even if ownership or management changes, unlike sole proprietorships or partnerships.
Taxation: Corporations are taxed separately from their owners and often benefit from lower corporate tax rates.
Governance and Regulation: Corporations are subject to specific governance structures and regulatory requirements, including the need for a board of directors and corporate officers.
Corporations in Alberta are chosen for their liability protection, potential tax benefits, and ability to raise capital through the sale of shares.
Registering your business means making your dreams of entrepreneurship into reality. RegiCorp has assisted countless new businesses in launching swiftly and economically. you can complete your business registration without the hassle by letting RegiCorp do the heavy complexities. For inquiries about business registration or incorporation, reach out to us at info@RegiCorp.ca
Follow the following steps to register your sole proprietorships, partnerships, and Trade name through RegiCorp. To know about How to incorporate a corporation in Alberta read the articles.
When selecting a business name, it’s important to choose wisely despite the minimal restrictions. Here are key points to keep in mind for business names:
Non-Exclusivity: Business names do not have to be unique. It’s possible for duplicate business names to exist.
Risk of Legal Issues: If you choose a name identical or similar to an already existing business, corporation name, or trademark, you could face legal challenges. This could result in having to change your business name or paying damages.
Restrictions on Corporate Indicators: You cannot use terms like ‘limited’, ‘incorporated’, or ‘corporation’, nor their abbreviations (e.g., Ltd., Inc., Corp.) or French equivalents, in your business name. These imply that your business is a corporation.
Naming a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): If registering an LLP, the name must include ‘limited liability partnership’, ‘LLP’, or the French terms ‘Société à Responsabilité Limitée’ or ‘SRL’.
At every business package we included unlimited name search. If you want you can have the NUANS name Reservation report from a third party as well. Or Regicorp’s NUANS Report menu.
You will need to provide the following information to register your Trade name, sole proprietorship, and partnership in Alberta:
- Unique Business Name
- Business Address (the address should be within the Province of Alberta, home address can be used)
- Business Activity (Type of product(s) or service(s) the business will offer)
- Full legal name and address of the owner(s) of the business (for both Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership)
- Corporation’s Full Name (if you want to register Trade Name under an existing corporation)
- Director full Name (if you want to register Trade Name under an existing corporation)
- A acceptable Photo ID of owner (s) such as driver’s license (you can either send us via email to or upload an electronic copy such as PDF, JPG, etc.)
- Date the business wants to start
Your business may need a federal business number (in short BN). It is a nine-digit number issued by the CRA. And related tax accounts such as HST, Payroll, export-import account.
If you need it later, you may place an order through the link at any time.
Obtain Business Licenses & Permits:
Your business may need to obtain different business licenses or professional licenses depending on its business activities. Like if you want to register LLP you must need “LLP Permit”
Major difference between a General Partnership and a Limited Partnership:
The major difference between a General Partnership and a Limited Partnership lies in the structure of liability and management:
Liability: In a General Partnership, all partners share unlimited liability. This means each partner is personally responsible for the debts and obligations of the business, including those incurred by other partners.
In a Limited Partnership, there are two types of partners: general partners and limited partners. General partners have unlimited liability, similar to partners in a general partnership. Limited partners, however, have liability limited to the extent of their investment in the partnership. They are not personally responsible for the partnership’s debts beyond their contribution.
Management: In a General Partnership, all partners typically participate in the day-to-day management of the business. Decisions are often made collectively, with each partner having an equal say.
In a Limited Partnership, the general partners manage the business, while limited partners usually do not have a role in management. Limited partners are essentially investors and do not partake in daily business operations.
FAQs on Business Structures in Alberta
What is an Alberta Trade Name?
Answer: An Alberta Trade Name, also known as “Doing Business As” (DBA), is a name used by a business that is different from its legal name. It’s used for branding and must be registered if it differs from the business’s legal name.
What is a Sole Proprietorship in Alberta?
Answer: A Sole Proprietorship in Alberta is a business owned and operated by a single individual. It’s simple to establish but the owner bears unlimited personal liability for the business’s debts and obligations.
What defines a General Partnership in Alberta?
Answer: A General Partnership in Alberta involves two or more individuals who share ownership, profits, losses, and liabilities of the business. All partners are involved in managing the business and have joint liability.
How does a Limited Partnership (LP) work in Alberta?
Answer: In an Alberta Limited Partnership, there are general and limited partners. General partners manage the business and have unlimited liability. Limited partners contribute capital and have liability limited to their investment, but they don’t participate in management.
What is a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) in Alberta?
Answer: An LLP in Alberta is often used by professional firms. It combines elements of partnerships and corporations, offering limited personal liability to the partners. Partners in an LLP are not personally liable for the malpractice of other partners.
Can a Trade Name in Alberta be the same as another existing business name?
Answer: Yes, Alberta Trade Names don’t have to be unique, but choosing a name similar to an existing business could lead to legal disputes.
Are there tax benefits to a Sole Proprietorship in Alberta?
Answer: In a Sole Proprietorship, business profits are treated as the personal income of the owner and taxed accordingly, which can be simpler but might not offer the same tax benefits as other structures.
Can partners in a General Partnership have different levels of liability?
Answer: No, in a General Partnership in Alberta, all partners share equal liability for the business’s debts and obligations.
Can a Limited Partner in an LP be involved in managing the business?
Answer: Typically, no. In a Limited Partnership, limited partners are usually investors and do not participate in the day-to-day management of the business.
Is an LLP a separate legal entity in Alberta?
Answer: Yes, an LLP is considered a separate legal entity, which means it can own property, enter contracts, and be liable independently from its partners.
Can I change my Trade name, sole proprietorship, and partnership business name?
Answer: No. Once Alberta Business name is Registered you can not change the Business name. You must register new business name.
Can I change ownership for my Trade name, sole proprietorship, and partnership business name?
Answer: No. Once Alberta Business name is Registered you can not change the ownership of the business. You must register new business name.