You don’t need to be a large business in order to register as a corporation. Whether you operate a team of 50 or you have a small business with only one employee, you can complete a corporate registry and enjoy the benefits of being a registered business in Alberta.
While there are differing provincial policies, corporate registration in Edmonton typically involves searching for and reserving a name, providing business information, and a fee. We go into more detail about the type of documents you need to register a business in Edmonton below.
The benefits of registering a business
By definition, a corporation is an “independent legal entity that exists separate and apart from its owners (shareholders).” The corporation acts as a “person” outside of you, the owner. While you don’t actually need to register a business to carry out business transactions, having a registered business can be beneficial for many reasons.
- Builds credibility with clients – Registering a business can be a great development strategy, as clients and customers are more inclined to do business with a legal and registered organization.
- Ability to apply for business bank accounts and loans – Your company will need to be registered as a business to qualify for bank accounts and loans. As your business grows, it’s always good to keep business and personal finances separate.
- Peace of mind with legal liabilities – As a registered business, you can create contracts, sue a person or company, or get sued as a company. This protects you from devastating financial losses, which would come from your own personal pocket if your business is not registered.
- Tax write-offs – You can deduct certain operating expenses from your taxes, which can save you a lot of money come tax time. Write-offs can include the cost of travel, rent, use-of-home expenses, office expenses, supplies, equipment, annual licence fees, marketing and advertising fees, telephone and internet, utilities, independent contractors, meals and entertainment, software, and more.
- Wholesale prices – Registered businesses can take advantage of wholesale rates that suppliers reserve only for legitimate businesses. Furthermore, many vendors and government contracts provide discounted rates to registered businesses.
What you need to register a business
If you operate a legitimate business and sell legal products or services, corporate registration is a fairly simple and straightforward process. You’ll need to:
- Decide your company structure – Will you register your business as a sole proprietorship, corporation, or non-profit?
- Do a NUANS search – NUANS stands for Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search and is mandatory for corporate registration. You search your proposed business name in Alberta’s database to ensure that there is no other business registered under that specific name. You’ll need to include a NUANS report with your registration forms.
- Gather forms, identification, and payment – Once you’ve completed the above steps, visit a registry agent in Edmonton and bring the following forms:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Notice of English/French Name Equivalency (optional)
- Notice of Address
- Notice of Directors
- Notice of Agent for Service for an Alberta or Extra-Provincial Corporation
- NUANS report
- Valid ID
- Fee payment
If all of the information you’ve provided meets the corporate registry requirements, the registry agent will enter it into the Corporate Registry system and provide you with an official certificate of incorporation. You will also be issued a federal business number that will be sent to your email.
Visit Riverbend Registry for corporate registry services
If you need more information about how to fill out your business forms, give us a call or visit us at 532 Riverbend Square, NW Edmonton. We are open 7 days a week with extended hours and our knowledgeable agents can help you with your corporate registry needs.