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Are you looking to incorporate your business? Do you want to have personal protection from the operations of your business? At Navigator Law, we are able to incorporate your business, including providing a NUANS name search for a reasonable fee.

What is Incorporation?

Incorporation is a legal process that sets up a corporation as a separate legal entity. A corporation can legally act as a ‘person’, separate from its business owners.

A corporation is able to make contracts, open bank accounts, buy and sell assets such as land and real estate, file lawsuits, and be sued.

A business can be incorporated in one province, multiple provinces, or federally. The location of incorporation you need depends on the location of your business, the scope of your business, and your future business plans. A business lawyer can help advise you on incorporation and the pros and cons of different options.

The legal process of business incorporation can be quite complex, so it is beneficial for businesses of all sizes to get legal advice to help navigate business incorporation.

The Incorporation Process

To incorporate your business in Alberta, you’ll need to go through the following steps.

  • 1. Decide on a name. You can pick a proper name or use a numbered corporation.
  • 2. Order a NUANS Report. For a named company, you need an Alberta NUANS report. This report is a name search of other corporations to make sure there aren’t other corporations with the same or a similar name. The NUANS report reserves your proposed corporation name for 90 days after the search was made.
  • 3. Complete Application Documents. In an Articles of Incorporation document, you provide all the details of the business you’re incorporating, including your business’ name and share structure.
  • 4. Record the Corporation’s Address. In a Notice of Address document, an Alberta mailing address is required for incorporating, so you can receive legal documents.
  • 5. Appoint a Director. In a Notice of Directors document, you provide all names, addresses of your corporation’s directors, and whether they are Canadian citizens. Directors make decisions about the corporation and supervise the activities of the corporation. All directors must be at least 18 years old and at least 1 or 25% of directors must be Canadian citizens.
  • 6. Submit Application. To file your incorporation application, you submit all the incorporation forms and the NUANS report at an Alberta registry or via a law office and pay the incorporation fee.

Why Set Up Your Company as a Corporation?

While there are extra initial and ongoing costs and higher administrative requirements associated with incorporating a business, there are also a number of important benefits of incorporating.

There are no limitations to the size of your business in order to incorporate it. Even as a new business or a small business, you can access the benefits of incorporation.

Depending on your specific business, the financial situation of your business, and legal risks, it may be time to incorporate. An incorporation lawyer can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks in your particular circumstances.

There are 4 main benefits of incorporating a business.

  • ● Decide on a name. You can pick a proper name or use a numbered corporation.
  • ● Tax benefits. As a corporation, you can access a corporate tax rate that is lower than the personal income tax rate. There are also other tax advantages available to corporations and their shareholders, such as tax deductions, deferred taxes, save capital gains, and income splitting. A tax lawyer can help you maximize the tax efficiency of your corporation and identify ways to get the most out of your business revenue.
  • ● Transfer ownership more easily. A corporation is an enduring business structure. That means the corporation will remain even after the owners and shareholders pass away, transfer ownership to someone else, or sell the company. This business structure makes it easier to transfer ownership, sell the corporation, and plan for the succession of the corporation.
  • ● Access to Capital. As a corporation, you can sell shares to raise capital and add shareholders. It may also be easier to secure financing after incorporating your business.

Your lawyer or law firm can help you with the incorporation process, understand the requirements for incorporating, and the type of business structure that is right for your business.

Our Incorporation Services

At Navigator Law, our experienced business lawyers can help you navigate the incorporation process. Let us ease your workload, give you peace of mind that your corporation has been set up correctly, and prevent any legal issues and risks in the process.

As a full-service law office, we offer legal advice and assistance with any aspect of setting up and running a business. Our law office offers a wide range of business law services to help you and your business succeed. Drawing from other legal practice areas, our legal services can extend far beyond incorporation. From incorporation, advice on corporate structure, tax planning, and estate planning, we can help.

Contact Us

We offer effective, experienced legal advice. Contact Navigator Law today to make an appointment at our NW Calgary, Alberta office and to learn more about how we can help you incorporate your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to incorporate my business?

No, but there are tax, business planning, and legal benefits to incorporating your business. A lawyer can help you understand the specific benefits and drawbacks of incorporating your business.

How much does it cost to incorporate a business?

In Alberta, there is a $275 government fee for incorporating a business. There is also a fee for getting a NUANS report and any applicable legal fees.

Can I pick any name for my corporation?

You can either choose a numbered company, for example, 12345 Alberta Ltd. or a proper name for your corporation. In Alberta, a corporation name must be distinctive, descriptive, and legal. A NUANS report can help you prevent issues with identical or similar names.

All Alberta corporations must have a legal element at the end of their name, for example, ltd. inc., or corp. Only specific professions can use the professional corporation legal element.

Should I incorporate my business at a federal level?

That depends on the scope of your business operations and the plan for your business. If you own a small business that only operates within your province, you probably don’t need federal incorporation. On the other hand, federal incorporation may be a better fit for your business if you operate in multiple provinces, internationally, or have plans to expand your business to other parts of the country. An incorporation lawyer can help you determine the right way to incorporate your business.