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
Three or more persons may apply to incorporate as a cooperative.
A cooperative has the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a natural person and can:
- buy, sell and own property and assets, including land
- enter into contracts
- sue others
- be sued
There is a $100 incorporation fee.
How to apply
Step 1. Choose a name
A cooperative name must meet specific legislative requirements, and not contain legal elements used by other types of businesses, such as Alberta corporations.
All cooperatives are required to have one of the following legal elements in their name:
- Cooperative, Co-operative, or Coopérative
- Coop or Co-op
Step 2. Get an Alberta NUANS report
You need to get an Alberta Name Search (NUANS) report and review it to make sure there is no other cooperative, business, or organization with an identical name or a name that is too similar to your proposed cooperative name.
Find a NUANS service provider.
The NUANS report reserves the proposed name for 90 days. The complete report must be submitted with the incorporation package, and must be less than 91 days old.
Step 3. Develop your Articles of Incorporation document
The Articles of Incorporation is a document that the cooperative must prepare. This document must contain the information required by the legislation.
Refer to the Articles of Incorporation requirements.
A signature page with the names and signatures of all the incorporators must be included. A minimum of 3 incorporators is required. The witness to these signatures completes the Affidavit of Execution form and gets it commissioned or notarized.
Step 4. Fill out the forms
The forms listed below must be completed and submitted as part of the incorporation package.
The registered office and records addresses must be physical locations in Alberta. A separate mailing address in Alberta can be provided if desired.
The names and addresses of the directors listed must match the information stated in the Articles of Incorporation document.
Step 5. Submit your incorporation package and fee
Send the Articles of Incorporation, other forms, NUANS report and the $100 incorporation fee to Corporate Registry. Make cheque payable to the Government of Alberta.
Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction
Box 1007 Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W6
Email: [email protected]
After you apply
If your information meets requirements, Corporate Registry will enter it into the registry system. The certificate of incorporation and a copy of the incorporation documents will be sent to you.
Creating and filing 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 for more information.
The directors must hold a members' meeting to make the bylaws. The bylaws must be signed by the directors and an Affidavit of Execution must be attached to verify their signatures. The new bylaws must be submitted to Corporate Registry within 180 days of receiving the Certificate of Incorporation. The 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.
Register your Alberta cooperative in BC, Manitoba, or Saskatchewan
The New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) is a trade relationship between Alberta, BC, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The agreement makes it easier for cooperatives to operate across provincial borders.
Registration requirements for Alberta cooperatives have been streamlined and registration fees have been eliminated to make business expansion more cost-effective.