How to establish a sole proprietorship in Alberta

How to establish a sole proprietorship in Alberta. An Alberta sole proprietorship must register a business name when they carry on business under a name that is not their own personal name.

In Alberta, you can establish a sole proprietorship by filing a statement of sole proprietorship business name registration with the Alberta Registries Office.

When your information meets the requirements of the Alberta Partnership Act, the business name is registered and a proof of filing is issued to confirm that the registration has occurred.

There are four steps you should take to register your Alberta sole proprietorship:

Choose a business name.
File a Declaration of Trade Name with the Alberta registries office.
Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
Obtain a Canada Business Number.

1. Choose a Business Name

In Alberta, a sole proprietor may use his or her own given name or may use a trade name. If you plan to use an assumed name or trade name, Alberta law requires that the name is distinguishable from the name of another company currently on record.

2. File a Declaration of Trade Name

If you use a business name that is different from your legal name, Alberta requires you to file a Declaration of Trade Name with the Alberta registries office.

3. Obtain Licenses, Permits, and Zoning Clearance

Your business may need to obtain business licenses or professional licenses depending on its business activities.

4. Obtain a Canada Business Number

Sole proprietors who wish to have employees need to obtain a Canada business number, or BN. This is a nine-digit number issued by the CRA to keep track of businesses.

Next Steps

It is important to consider doing the following once you have established your sole proprietorship:

Open a business bank account. Using your certificate of business name registration and your BN, you should set up a bank account to keep your business and personal finances separate.

Obtain general liability insurance. Because sole proprietors are personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business, a business liability insurance policy may be the only form of financial protection against unforeseen events.

Report and pay taxes. Depending on your specific business activities, you may be required to report such items as sales tax and use tax.