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Registering Trade Names and Partnerships in Alberta


Register your sole-proprietorship here

Register your partnership here

Incorporate your business here

Business name vs. Alberta Corporation name

There are differences between business names and incorporated names, as well as differences between the resulting entities. An incorporated name must contain a legal element, while a trade name or partnership name cannot. Another difference between a business name and an Alberta corporation name is that a corporation name is only granted once.

A difference between a registered corporation and a trade name or partnership, is that the trade name or partnership is not a distinct legal entity. Therefore, the proprietor(s) or partners are completely responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business.

So, you've decided to use a "business name". Does it have to be registered?

Yes. If a person is engaged in a business and uses as his business name a name other than his own, he must register the business name by filing a declaration with the Registrar through an authorized service provider.

The Business Name

There is no requirement under the Partnership Act for a trade/partnership name to be unique. The registration of a business name does not have any restrictions, nor any right of ownership of the name. The registration of a business name is proof that it is in use by a particular business and provides consumers with information on the identities of the owners of the business names registered in Alberta.

Although there are few restrictions on a business name, you should choose a business name carefully. If the name chosen is the same as, or similar to, an existing trade name, corporate name, or trademark, the owners of the other name or trademark could take your business to court, and ask a judge to stop the use of the name and award damages. It is therefore recommended that a Business Name Report be obtained to help you decide whether the name you have chosen is appropriate.

Types of Business Names

Trade Name
When only one person is registering a business name (also called a sole proprietorship), a trade name is used.

A partnership registration occurs when two or more persons register a business name. In an ordinary partnership, the partners are responsible for the debts of the partnership, sharing both in the profits and the risks of the business.

Limited Partnership
In a limited partnership, there are two types of partners: general and limited. Each type of partner has different rights and responsibilities. For example, there is generally a limit on the liability of the limited partner, while the general partner’s liabilities are not limited. A limited partner’s liability usually depends on the amount this partner contributes to the limited partnership. The limited partnership consists of one (or more) general partners and one (or more) limited partners. There may be any number of limited partners in a limited partnership. A person can be a general and a limited partner at the same time, in the same partnership.

Limited Liability Partnership
A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a partnership consisting of partners carrying on practice in one or more eligible professions which include chartered accountants, certified management accountants, certified general accountants, lawyers, physicians, dentists, chiropractors and optometrists.

LLPs are similar to regular partnerships except that there is liability protection. A partner in an LLP is not generally liable for partnership obligations arising from the negligence, wrongdoing, or misconduct of other partners, employees, agents, or representatives of the LLP that occur in the ordinary course of carrying on practice in an eligible profession.

The partners in the limited liability partnership may be individual practitioners in these professions or professional corporations.

Where do I register my business name?

Once you gather all required information, you can submit your registration order online here. We will examine your information and if it meets the current legislative requirements, will process the request and issue you a proof of filing to verify that the registration has occurred.

If you have any questions or require additional information please click here

Register your sole-proprietorship here

Register your partnership here

Incorporate your business here



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