Overview

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
  • share in any profits the business makes

Alberta-based cooperatives must be incorporated under the Cooperatives Act.

Read the Articles of Incorporation Requirements (PDF, 303 KB) before starting. The Articles of Incorporation is a separate document that the cooperative must prepare.

For more information about the Cooperatives Act, see:

Summary of the Cooperatives Act

Summary of the Cooperatives Regulation 

Consumer Tipsheet - Cooperatives Act

Cost

There is a $100 registration fee, payable to the Government of Alberta.

How to apply

Step 1: Fill out the forms

Trouble opening PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
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Step 2: Get a NUANS report

You will have to get an Alberta Name Search (NUANS) report from a certified NUANS member. The report shows similar registered business names based on your proposed name.

A cooperative name must meet specific legislative requirements. Once applied, the Director of Cooperatives must approve the proposed cooperative name.

Step 3: Submit your forms

Mail or deliver the Articles of Incorporation, forms, NUANS report, and a $100 registration fee to:

Service Alberta
Director of Cooperatives
3C, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4

Make cheques payable to the Government of Alberta.

After you apply

Once the documents comply with the legislation, and after they are processed, the Director of Cooperatives will issue a Certificate of Incorporation providing the authority for the cooperative to begin operation in the Province of Alberta. The Director will also send the certificate and a filed copy of the registration documents to the applicant.

Creating bylaws

The Cooperatives Act does not have standard bylaws. The Act and the regulation identify what must be and what may be included in the bylaws.

See Bylaw Requirements (PDF, 1 MB) for more information.

Within 180 days of receiving the Certificate of Incorporation, the directors must hold a members' meeting to make the bylaws. These bylaws come into force on the day they are made or on any later date specified in the bylaws or in the resolution adopting them.

Filing bylaws

Bylaws must be filed with the Director within 60 days of the date they come into force. They must be signed by the directors and have an attached Affidavit of Execution verifying the signatures.

Register your business in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba

The New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) is a trade relationship between Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. The agreement makes it easier for cooperatives to operate across provincial borders. Registration and reporting requirements are simplified or eliminated to make business expansion more cost-effective.

Extra-provincial registration processes between Manitoba and the other provinces will go into effect on or before January 01, 2020.

If you have an Alberta cooperative and want to conduct business in British Columbia or Saskatchewan, follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill out the forms

Complete the appropriate NWPTA form:

Forms for extra-provincial registration in British Columbia

Forms for extra-provincial registration in Saskatchewan

Step 2. Get a name search report (NUANS search)

An Alberta cooperative must reserve a name for use in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. You can get these through:

Step 3. Submit your forms

Send your forms to the Alberta Director of Cooperatives at:

Service Alberta
Director of Cooperatives
3C, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4

Contact

To connect with Corporate Registry:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7013