When starting a new business in Alberta, there are several ways to set up the legal structure of your business or non-profit organization.
Incorporating a corporation creates a legal ‘person’ that’s separate and distinct from its individual owners. A corporation is an independent legal entity that exists separate and apart from its owners (shareholders). Basically, the corporation acts as a ‘person’.
As a ‘person’, a corporation can:
buy, sell and own assets, including land
You don’t need to be a large business to register as a corporation. A small business with only one owner can register as a corporation.
If you need help deciding if a corporation is the best form of business, it’s highly recommended you get legal advice.
Why should I incorporate?
One of the most frequently asked questions by entrepreneurs starting a new business is: “Should I incorporate?” The answer to this question is usually: “That depends on your particular situation and your particular needs.” Among the factors to consider in making this decisions are the benefits of incorporating (versus operating the business as a sole proprietorship or partnership) and the implications that incorporation may have for the business.
Benefits of incorporating
Separate legal entity
Lower corporate tax rates
Greater access to capital
Alberta Incorporation Fees:
If your corporation was formed in another province or country, it must be registered to carry on business in Alberta.
Organizations can choose to incorporate a non-profit company when they want a legal structure that is similar to the structure of a for-profit corporation.
Religious organizations and congregations can incorporate so they can own the land where their house of worship or cemetery is located.
Similar to non-profit companies, organizations can incorporate a society for social, recreational and other useful purposes, but not for carrying on a business.
A cooperative is a business organization started by people who want to use services or buy goods as a group, have an equal say in how the business is run and share in any profits the business makes.