Frequently Asked Questions:
When starting a small business many questions may arise.
Here are some frequently asked questions that many of our customers often ask:
I have a very small business. Should I form a corporation or should I register a trade name?
We suggest that you seek legal advice if you are not sure if you should have a trade name or a corporation. A lawyer can help you decide which is best for you and your business depending on your situation. It is very important that you know and understand your legal rights and liabilities. Unfortunately our staff is unable to answer or give legal advice in this aspect.
What is the difference between a trade name (Sole Proprietorship) and a corporation?
Trade names are business names registered to an individual or a corporation. You must register a trade name if you or your business:
– Is engaged in business for trading, manufacturing, contracting or mining purposes.
– If not associated in partnership with any other person or persons.
– Uses as his/her business name, some name, or designation other than his/her own.
– Uses his/her own name with the addition of “and company” or some other word or phrase indicating a plurality of members in the firm.
If I register a trade name, can anybody else use that name?
The same trade name can be used by many people. Registering the name in Alberta does not mean that you own that name. You could have legal problems if you use a name that is the same, or nearly the same as an existing trade name, partnership name, corporation name , or trademark. You should always choose your name carefully.
We recommend that you get an Alberta Business Name Report (also known as a NUANS report) to see if the name is already in use. You can get a name search from our office. Your trade name cannot contain the words “Limited”, “Incorporated”, “Corporation”, or “Limited Partnership”.
Is there any government office that can give me the information about starting a small business?
You can get information on starting a small business by calling “The Business Link – The Business Service Centre” at 403-221-7800.
Please click here for registration forms for a Trade Name (Sole Proprietorship) Registration. After filling out this form, our friendly staff can assist you in registering your new partnership.