An Alberta Registration of a Sole Proprietorship is governed by the Alberta Partnership Act.
The statute says that each person who
(1) is engaged in business for trading, manufacturing, contracting or mining purposes; and
(2) is not associated in partnership with any other person or persons and uses as the person’s business name some name or designation other than the person’s own, or the person’s own name with the addition of “and company” or some other word or phrase indicating a plurality of members in a firm;
shall file with the Alberta Registrar a declaration in writing of the fact.
This means if you are using a name other than your own in Alberta and you are not in partnership with anyone else, you must register a Declaration of Trade Name in order to carry on business in Alberta as a sole proprietorship.
A Declaration of Trade Name for a sole proprietorship must be filed within six months of commencing business under a name other than your own.
You are not required to provide an Alberta NUANS Report to register an AB sole proprietorship. The Partnership Act (Alberta) has no requirement for an Alberta trade name / Alberta partnership / Alberta sole proprietorship name to be unique. Any company, sole proprietorship or partnership can register the same Alberta business name at the same time. This does not mean that you should just go ahead and register any name you wish. It is important that you make all attempts to have a distinct name for an Alberta Registration that is very different from all names out there. The best way to ensure this is to do a preliminary name search Alberta Registration Name before you register your sole proprietorship.
Just to clarify, Alberta company names are unique and no one can register a company with the exact same name as another company. It is only where a company carries on business under a business name other than its own (called an Alberta Trade Name as well) that there is no protection for the name. An Alberta Registration such as an Alberta Partnership, Alberta trade name and Alberta sole proprietorship have no protection for their names in Alberta. It is advisable to obtain an Alberta NUANS Name Search Report to ensure the name is not being used by another business regardless since this could be a conflict for your business if you use a similar name.
You cannot register an Alberta Trade Name or Alberta Sole Proprietorship on your own. You must ask a provider to assist you with the registration. The information you will need to provide to the provider is your full name, your residence address, a description of the business you will be conducting, the city in which the business will be conducted, the name of the business, the date the business first commenced, your occupation and a form of identification. You will be required to provide a driver’s licence no., a birth certificate no., a passport no. or a health card no. The form does not have to be originally signed. The identification provides the government with your true identity. The identification is included as part of the registration process for an Alberta Registration.
The form required to be filed for an Alberta Registration such as an Alberta sole proprietorship or Alberta Trade Name is called a Declaration of Trade Name pursuant to the Partnership Act (Alberta). A service provider will assist you with completion of the form.
If the residential address of the sole proprietor changes the sole proprietor has 30 days in which to change his address. He or she must file an Alberta Declaration of Address Change showing the new address.
If you wish to terminate your Alberta sole proprietorship|Alberta Trade Name, you must file a Declaration of Ceasing to Carry on Business under a Trade Name.
You cannot change the name of a sole proprietorship or trade name. If you wish you can dissolve an existing sole proprietorship and register a new Alberta sole proprietorship under the new name. You would transfer the assets from one to the other. However, it is not considered a name change. You would be registering a new Alberta sole proprietorship.
Sole proprietorships are issued Federal Business Numbers by the federal government. The numbers have extension numbers on them for adding the GST number, Import-Export number and the Payroll number. If you do not have employees you do not need the payroll number. If you do not import-export then you do not need that number. If you are not making more than $30,000 you do not require a GST number although you can register voluntarily.
If you own more than one Alberta sole proprietorship the federal government will issue you one Business Number for both proprietorships. All you need to do is let the government know about any additional proprietorships that you register. If you wish you can have a separate GST number, separate Payroll number and/or a separate import / export number for each sole proprietorship. You might have one number for one and not for the other. You can track GST for both sole proprietorships under one GST number if you wish. You just need to provide the federal government with this information. For instance you might want to track GST separately for both proprietorships so you would have a separate number for each.
Alberta Registrations or Alberta Sole Proprietorships or Alberta Trade Names are perpetual. This means they will stay in place until you dissolve the registration.
Every province and territory has its own statute that governs carrying on business in that province. You need to review that statute to see what that province or territory has defined as carrying on business. If you are conducting that type of business then you must register. It is a good idea to get advice from a solicitor about this since sometimes it might appear as if you need to be registered but you actually may not need to. If your conducting business in a number of provinces and territories it can become extremely expensive to register and maintain those registrations so you want to know in advance whether it is absolutely necessary.
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