Incorporate a business or organization

Religious societies

Learn how to incorporate your group as a religious society.

A religious society is the incorporated congregation of a religious group.  An incorporated congregation or religious group acts as a legal 'person' that exists separate and apart from its members.

As a ‘person’, a religious society can:

  • buy, sell and own assets, including land
  • make contracts
  • sue
  • be sued

When to incorporate your religious society

You’ll need to incorporate your religious group if it wants to own land in its own name. The land has to be used for the religious society’s house of worship or burial ground. Your religious society can own up to 320 acres for these purposes.

Incorporation also ensures that any decisions about the land can be made according to the needs of the religious society.

Cost

There is a $50 incorporation fee. Make your cheque payable to “Government of Alberta”. Don’t send a credit card number in the mail.

1. Choose a name

A religious society’s name consists of 3 elements:

  • local description
  • religious designation
  • religious society element

‘Sunset Rocks United Fellowship’ is an example of a religious society name that contains all 3 elements.

Local description

A local description makes the religious society’s name different from others.

In the example above, ‘Sunset Rocks’ is the distinctive element.

Religious designation

A religious designation indicates the religious denomination associated with the group, if applicable.

In the example above, ‘United’ is the religious designation.

Religious society

The religious society element must imply the group is a religious society and not some other type of group.

Examples include:

  • church
  • fellowship
  • ministry
  • ministries
  • assembly

In the example above, ‘Fellowship’ is the legal element.

2. Get an Alberta NUANS report

You need to get an Alberta NUANS report and review it to make sure there’s no other religious society with an identical name. Identically named societies aren’t allowed.

You’ll also need to decide if your proposed name is too similar to other incorporated names.

  • if another religious society feels your corporation’s name is too similar to theirs, they can file an objection through the Registrar of Corporations
  • if the Registrar agrees with the objection, your religious society can be forced to change its name
  • the NUANS report reserves the proposed name for 90 days. The original report must be submitted with the incorporation details and must be less than 91 days old.

Find a NUANS service provider

3. Fill out the form

4. Submit the forms and information

Submit the following to Corporate Registry:

  • signed duplicates of your completed forms
  • NUANS report
  • the $50 incorporation fee, payable to ‘Government of Alberta’
    • don’t send a credit card number in the mail

If your information meets requirements Corporate Registry will enter it into the computer system and mail you a Certificate of Incorporation.

Mail

Alberta Registries
Corporate Registry
Box 1007 Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4W6

In person

8:15 am - 4:00 pm
Monday - Friday
(closed statutory holidays)

South Counter
Mezzanine Floor, John E. Brownlee Building
10365-97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7

 

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Contact this service

780-427-7013
(Edmonton and area)

8:15 am - 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Related services

Religious Societies’ Land Act