Written by Ivana Palacios
UCalgary Law | JD Candidate 2024
Deciding on whether to incorporate federally or provincially is often a question that new businesses grapple with. Depending on where you plan on conducting business there may be one additional consideration you have not though about. Will you be able to use the same name throughout Canada?
Federal incorporation allows a business to use its corporate name across Canada. Provincial incorporation in Alberta only cross references names of companies incorporated in Alberta, extra-provincially in Alberta, and federally. Federal name searches are therefore more rigorous than provincial name searches. A provincially incorporated corporation will therefore need to conduct a name search in each additional province in which it wishes to carry on business. There is a risk that its corporate name will be rejected in another province, requiring the use of an alternative name.
If you plan on conducting business throughout Canada and wish to ensure you are operating under the same name everywhere, you may want to consider this advantage when deciding whether to incorporate federally or provincially.
 Corporations Canada, “Is incorporation right for you?” (2020), online: Government of Canada https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cd-dgc.nsf/eng/cs06641.html .
 ABCA, s 12(1).
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