Calgary & Strathmore Business Incorporation Lawyers

If you have recently started a business, you may wonder if you should incorporate. It is an excellent time to incorporate if your company has obtained or developed value, is ready to enter contracts, or is looking for funding. A corporation is a legal entity separate from its owners (shareholders) with the same rights and obligations as a natural person that offers several financial and legal benefits.

Getz Collins and Associates provides robust advice to start-ups and established businesses alike on all aspects of incorporation. The firm helps clients choose the framework best suited to their enterprise, industry, tax and funding considerations, and operational needs.

Incorporation & Limited Liability in Alberta

Incorporation provides a barrier between the owner’s personal assets and those of the business. The corporation is responsible for its obligations, debts, and actions. Should a corporation incur debts it cannot pay, creditors of the corporation can only obtain the personally held assets of the business owners in specific circumstances. Your personal assets are not generally at risk of being held liable for unpaid debts or bankruptcy of an incorporated business.

Corporate Tax Benefits

There are many factors to consider when contemplating the tax effects of incorporating. If you are considering incorporating your business, you should meet with an accountant and a corporate lawyer to discuss these considerations.

Some benefits may apply to your business, including:

  • Deferrals: A corporation can retain income to defer personal tax.
  • Deductions: Some businesses may qualify for a small business deduction (lower corporate tax rate).
  • Capital Gains: In certain circumstances, the shares of a corporation may qualify for a lifetime capital gains exemption, allowing you to dispose of or transfer shares to your children or spouse at a reduced tax rate.
  • Estate Planning: Incorporating your business with an appropriate share structure provides more flexibility in transferring your business to family members during your lifetime or after death.

Corporate Governance & Business Structures

An incorporation has structures, processes, and practices the business can use to manage its affairs. By planning the corporate structure of your business, you can dictate the rights, responsibilities, and involvement of stakeholders in the business. Key actors in the corporate structure include:

  • Shareholders: The owners of the business. Voting shareholders elect directors to manage the day-to-day business operations and participate in certain major decisions the corporation may make.
  • Directors: The board of directors manages the daily operations of the corporation. The directors of the corporation owe duties and obligations to the corporation.
  • Officers: Officers are elected by directors to carry out the business’s daily operations.

Access to Financing Through Incorporation

While many new businesses do not have the assets that would allow them to secure financing from traditional lenders easily, incorporated businesses can be more attractive to lenders and investors as they become profitable. Additionally, corporations may be able to access grants and government funding that are unavailable to unincorporated entities.

Obligations of Corporations in Alberta

There are many benefits to incorporating, but business owners must be aware of the obligations of incorporation. They include:

  • Annual Returns: Annual regulatory filings are required for a corporation to remain in good standing.
  • Corporate tax returns: Annual corporate tax returns must be completed for a corporation. These filings are separate and apart from an owner’s personal tax returns.
  • Administration: Annual filings, transactions, and corporate activities must be properly registered and/or documented in the corporation’s minute book. The proper completion of these steps often requires the engagement of professionals.

Contact Getz Collins and Associates for Professional Incorporation Services in Calgary & Strathmore

The experienced business lawyers of Getz Collins and Associates create personalized incorporation services to ensure our clients’ enterprises are well-rooted for future growth. The firm provides comprehensive solutions to ventures of all sizes by advising on business structures and incorporation, as well as negotiating and drafting any corollary contracts, including shareholder agreements.

Since its inception in 1984, Getz Collins and Associates has developed a reputation for providing top-notch business law services to clients across Alberta. Based in Calgary and Strathmore, the firm seamlessly integrates a high-end level of professionalism and resources with a community-centred approach. The firm’s business law team proudly serves clients throughout the province, including Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, Drumheller, Chestermere, Hussar, and the surrounding areas. To schedule a consultation, please contact us online or call 587-391-5600.