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Incorporating a co-op in Western Canada — a provincial comparison

Here’s a snapshot of the differences and similarities of the incorporation process in Western Canada. No matter which western province you’re in, we can help! Click here if you want Co-operatives First to handle the incorporation process for your co-op.


Consideration Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia
Minimum number of shareholders 3 6* 3 3 or more persons or eligible organizations
Minimum number of directors 3 5* 3 3
Name requirements Must contain cooperative, co-operative, coopérative, coop, co-op or pool and end with the word limited, ltd., incorporated, inc., limitée, incorporée, or ltée Must contain co-operative or co-op and limited or ltd Must have the word co-operative, coop, co-op, coopérative, united, or pool Must contain the word Cooperative, coop or co-op, or an alternative like association, society, union, or exchange
Share class provisions Membership and Investment Common and Preferred Membership and Investment Membership and Investment
Multi-stakeholder allowed? Yes No* Yes Yes
Incorporation fee** $250 or $70 if incorporating as a community services co-op + name search $285 or $70 for a non-profit co-op (name reservation included) $100 + name search $280 including name approval fee
Department Responsible Financial Institutions Regulation Branch Information Services Corporation Service Alberta BC Registries and Online Services

*According to the Saskatchewan Cooperatives Act, a group can submit an appeal to the registrar to incorporate with fewer than suggested shareholders/directors or more share classes.

**Each province does allow interprovincial registration/incorporation for a similar fee.

Enjoy this tool on Incorporating a co-op in Western Canada? Then you’ll enjoy our incorporation timeframe or our blog on the 5 things a co-op need to do after incorporating.

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