How to Incorporate in Alberta: The Definitive Guide

Jan 7, 2021
6 minute read

This guide provides a short summary of the steps required to incorporate a business under Alberta law as well as items to consider to determine whether it is the right time for your business to incorporate. If you have questions about incorporation, feel free to get in touch or create a free account on Ownr. Let’s take a look at the steps to incorporation in Alberta.

1. Choosing a business name

Choosing a name for your business can be a little stressful, but ultimately, it’s a fun exercise. There are five typical steps to confirming if a name is available. They don’t necessarily have to be completed in the order outlined below, but it is a good idea to go through each step before deciding to incorporate.

Step One: Google. A good first step is to simply Google your chosen name to see if anyone is already using it.

Step Two: Domain name search. Next, you’ll want to check if a suitable domain is available. You can use a domain name registrar like Hover to search and see what’s available. Although most .com’s are taken, there are still plenty of .ca’s, .io’s, .co’s and other TLDs available. Another option many new businesses and startups choose is to add “get” “go” or “my” at the front of their business name to get an available domain name (i.e. www.getrhinoicecream.com).

Step Three: Legal requirements. It is recommended to include all three legal parts to your business name:

[Distinctive] + [Descriptive] + [Legal Ending]

For example: Rhino Ice Cream Inc.

That being said, there are many companies that simply have a distinctive element (i.e. Apple Inc.). The difficulty with simply a distinctive element is it could be rejected by the Corporate Registry office, meaning that additional costs would need to be incurred to choose a different name with a descriptive element.

Step Four: Trademark search. You should check if anyone has already registered a trademark for your desired name. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) makes it easy using their online search.

When conducting a search, you will want to consider alternate spellings. If your name is similar to one that is already registered, you may not be able to use it if it is likely to cause confusion to consumers.

One final note about Trademarks: they are tied to specific goods or services. This means that you may still be abl