Establishing Trade Names
Our team can help you when you are ready to start a business. After you have the products or services sorted out that you want to deliver, you must decide how you are going to introduce your new business. This includes choosing and registering your trade name.
Your First Trade Name Consideration
It can be exciting to determine what your new business name will be. However, before you get carried away determining the trade name that will fit your brand, there are legal aspects to take into consideration. Before registering a trade name, you must make sure that it is not already taken as a business name and that it will not violate any registered or common law trademarks.
Types of Trade Name Ownership
A trade name can be owned in a variety of ways. It is also possible for one of the below entities to own more than one trade name at the same time.
• Sole Proprietorship
When you run a business as the sole owner, under a name other than your personal name, you will need to register the name. When you operate a sole proprietorship, you personally take on all of the debts and liabilities of your business. In this case, the trade name registration is to you personally.
A corporation can own a trade name. Our experienced team will work with you to make sure that ownership is properly registered in the name of the corporation. This helps to ensure that you maintain the legal benefits of corporate status. This includes both liability and tax benefits. If you need our team to incorporate your business, we can do so at the same time as registering your trade name.
There are four different types of business names that can be registered in Alberta:
If you have one or more individuals working with you to run your business, and you share the debts and profits with these individuals, you have a partnership and will need to register a partnership name.
A limited partnership is a partnership in which there are general partners and limited partners. The types of partners are determined by each individual’s roles, responsibilities and contributions to the partnership.
Limited Liability Partnership
A limited liability partnership is similar to the other types of partnerships, except that there are liability protections in place. As a partner in this type of business, you are not liable for any responsibilities that arise from the poor actions or negligence of the other partners. This type of partnership consists of practitioners or corporations. Generally, partners are typically responsible for the liabilities and profits of a business. Conversely, limited partners are general responsible only for what they have contributed to the partnership. In regards to business names, the Partnership Act states that the surname of a limited partner is not to appear within the partnership name unless there is a general partner who has the same surname.
How to Register a Business Name
Registering a trade name is fairly simple. Our team will conduct a search to ensure the availability of the name you want to register. We will then register the trade name to the entity that you wish. Do not hesitate to contact us regarding the best way to own your trade name. Once you have made these requirements, you will receive confirmation that the trade name has been registered.
What If Other Businesses Have the Same Name as Yours?
In Alberta, there are very few restrictions regarding what you can name your business. The Partnership Act does not stipulate that your business name must be original. However, if you do choose a trade name that is the same as, or similar to, another business, corporation, or a trademarked entity, you could be taken to court over the issue. It is less expensive to have our team research your choice of name prior to registration than it is to change the name after the fact.
The registering of your trade name should be taken seriously, as this allows consumers and other businesses to find your business and learn more about you. Also, you are legally required to register your business name any time you conduct business in Alberta using a name other than your own personal name. Lastly, to ensure that you complete this process correctly, consult with our team.
Trademarks in Canada
To properly protect the name your business operates under, as it relates to the products and/or services that you sell, you need to trademark the name. While there is such a thing as common law trademarks, registering your trademark is the legal way to protect your brand.