Registering, Changing or Cancelling a Business Name

What are the process to register, change or cancel a business name in Alberta?

A business name doesn’t have a legal existence in its own right. Rather, it’s simply a name used by one or more people to represent their business to the public. This means the sole proprietor or partners are personally responsible for the debts and obligations of the business.

Registering a business name doesn’t grant any right of ownership of the name. It’s simply proof that the name is being used by a particular business.

To those who determining if a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation is the best form of business to embark on are advised to seek legal counsel. Below is an explanation of the types of business names registered under the Partnership Act.

There are four types of business names

  1. Trade name (sole proprietorship)
  2. Partnership
  3. Limited partnership
  4. Limited liability partnership

Trade name

A trade name, also known as a sole proprietorship is used when:

  • an individual does business under a name other than their own personal name
  • a corporation does business under a name other than its legal name


A partnership is created when two or more individuals, or two or more corporations, do business together as partners. All partners share in the profits and the risks or debts of the business.

Limited Partnership

A limited partnership consists of one or more general partners, and one or more limited partners.

Each type of partner has different rights and responsibilities. For example, a general partner is liable for the debts of the business, while a limited partner is liable only for the amount they have contributed to the business.

Limited Liability Partnership

A limited liability partnership consists of partners in one or more eligible professions, such as accounting or law.

This type of partnership is similar to a regular partnership, except there is liability protection. A partner in a limited liability partnership is not generally liable for the negligence, wrongdoing or misconduct of a partner, employee or agent.

Partners in a limited liability partnership may be individual practitioners or professional corporations.

Limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships based in other provinces must also register in Alberta when they do business here.

Contact KGPC LLP for expert legal advice for organizations, businesses or corporations.

Related Posts