When deciding how to incorporate a business in the province of Alberta, there are three basic methods. On this page, we provide a general overview of all three.
The choice between a Federal Corporation and an Alberta Provincial Corporation determines the laws that will govern the corporation. The Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) governs all Federal Corporations formed in Canada, while the Alberta Business Corporations Act (ABCA) governs all Alberta provincial corporations. More information on the advantages and disadvantages of each type of corporation may be found in our general Incorporation article.
Alberta Incorporation Fees
In addition to the required filing documents, you must pay the appropriate fees. The current rate for forming an Alberta Provincial corporation is $250 (Source).
Let’s take a closer look at the three methods: preparing the documents and filing at an Alberta Registry Agent yourself; using a service provider, specifically an online incorporation service; or using a corporate lawyer.
How to Incorporate a Business in Alberta By Yourself
You will need to prepare the following forms:
- Articles of Incorporation – This is the primary organizational document and may be found here.
- Alberta-based NUANS – This search will identify whether the name you have chosen for your business is available. The NUANS website is located here.
- Notice of Address – This form, available here, must include the address of the corporation’s registered office and mailing address (if different from the registered office).
- Notice of Directors – This form, available here, must include the names and addresses of all directors as well as their Canadian residential statuses.
- Supplemental Documents – Depending on the type of business, you may be required to file other documents such as a legal opinion.
These completed documents must be taken to an official Alberta Registry Agent or other authorized service provider. These agents provide various government services, including incorporation. To find an agent near you, use the Registry Agent Search. These agents are authorized to charge a fee on top of the government fee for entering your information into the system, so you should be prepared to pay the $250 basic fee plus an additional service fee. It might be a good idea to contact several registry agents to find one that meets your cost and service needs.
How to Incorporate an Alberta Business Using an Online Incorporation Services
This is the newest method of incorporating an Alberta corporation and is ideally suited to those who are not comfortable incorporating their business themselves and cannot afford, or do not wish to pay, the potentially high legal fees that come with the expertise of a corporate lawyer. If your corporation has a relatively simple structure, you may wish to consider the services of an online incorporation company, also known as a Service Provider.
These online incorporation services typically provide fill-in order forms on their website. These interactive questionnaires will usually prompt you for information about your business and then use that information to generate the required forms. Behind the scenes at a typical online incorporation service, experienced incorporation professionals review and correct your information and make sure your filing documents are properly prepared. After you pay the required Government fees as well as a service fee to the online incorporation company, they will then file your documents electronically.
Online incorporation services are a combination of do-it-yourself and professional services. They may also be able to provide you with other common business services, such as organizational minutes and resolutions, minute books, share certificates, tax accounts registration and more.
The following two companies are examples of online incorporation services offering incorporation of an Alberta business:
Incorporating a Business in Alberta through a Corporate Lawyer
If your business will have a complex structure, or if you just want the assurance of having a licensed legal professional handle your matter, you should look into hiring a corporate or startup attorney. An experienced attorney will not only be able to correctly handle your incorporation paperwork, but will also be able to provide you with legal advice such as helping you decide between a Federal or Alberta Provincial corporation.
Such expert advice and service, however, can come at a high price. Complex incorporations by experienced corporate lawyers can easily come with price tags of thousands of dollars. Depending on your situation, however, this may be money well spent as you will avoid potential pitfalls that could cost your business far more in the future. It is up to you to decide whether an attorney is worth the money or whether you will take the risk of incorporating the business yourself.
To find an Alberta incorporation lawyer, take a look at The Law Society of Alberta website, which offers a lawyer directory and other services.