How to Register Your Business in Alberta

professional business owner

There are 3 types of registrations available as small businesses in Alberta. You can register as a Sole-Proprietorship, Partnership or Tradename.

What is the difference between these 3 types of registrations?

  • A Sole Proprietorship is a registration or business owned by one person solely that is not an incorporated company.
  • A Partnership is a registration or business owned by 2 or more people and is not an incorporated company.
  • A Tradename is a registered business owned and operated by an existing corporation.

Partnership, Sole Proprietorship or Tradename: What does each provide to you?

Considered as a less expensive alternative to incorporation, these registrations allow you to operate a business simply and inexpensively, however, the registrations do not have the same protections associated with Incorporation.

The Sole Proprietorship and Partnership do not have liability protection as a separate entity from those who own it and therefore the individual owners are personally responsible for the debits and obligations of the business. This is also the case if a lawsuit is claimed against the business, in these registrations, the individual owners are responsible for the personal or property loss if proven in court.

The tradename is registered under an existing corporation which has the liability protection and therefore, the tradename has the benefits from the corporation of liability protection.

Name Protection

None of these registration options offer name protection for the business, although the business name is searched and approved by the Province of Alberta. If you wish to have name protection for the business where no one can use the exact same business name within the Province, you may want to look at incorporating where this is available.

Benefits of Registration:

  • Continued existence of registration
  • Less Expensive relative to incorporating
  • Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships are available to non-residents of Canada

Things to Keep in Mind about Business Registration:

  • Other business may operate under same or similar name to your business name
  • You are personally liability for the debits and obligations of the business
  • Amendments to registrations after registration is completed are limited, often requiring new registration filing
  • You are personally taxed for the business revenues under your personal income tax

What is needed register?

  • The name of the business
  • Alberta address for the business (if you don’t have a separate business address, a home address can be used, as long as the address is in Alberta)
  • The activity of the business (a short description of what your business does)
  • Owner’s legal name (check drivers licence to ensure you register the same way)
  • Owner’s address or addresses (this address can be in or outside of Alberta)
  • Corporate Name (if it is a Tradename under an existing corporation)
  • Director Name (if it is a Tradename under an existing corporation)
  • Scan or Copy of your driver’s licence (you can either email to us or upload an electronic copy such as PDF, JPG, etc.)

How long does Registration take?

It only takes 3 to 5 minutes to fill in the application with us online and once submitted, the registration process begins on a same day basis Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST.

Federal Preliminary NUANS Search

The NUANS preliminary search provides insight into businesses, corporations and trademarks similarly named to your proposed business name. When submitting the NUANS pre-search request, we are able to search and provide details of these potential similar named businesses, both within and outside the Province of Alberta. If similarly named businesses are found, especially incorporated or trademarked businesses where name protection has been provided, you can provide a new business name at no additional cost.

Government Fee
To register is $34.15

Why use us?

We have been assisting individuals to complete business filings since 1992

We have many resources available to new business owners throughout our website and blogs.

Our staff is only a phone call or email away if you require any information to help you feel comfortable and confident in completing your Alberta registration, please feel free to reach out to us.


Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance on registering your business in Alberta.
Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913
Local: 1-416-599-9009
Fax: 1-866-294-4363
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.

Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.