Alberta Certificates of Status are issued by the Alberta Corporate Registry for Alberta companies. Sometimes these are called Certificates of Good Standing or Certificates of Compliance and all companies registered in all jurisdictions in Canada and for that matter all countries can obtain these certificates when needed. However, in the Alberta jurisdiction they are called Certificates of Status.
Basically an Alberta Certificate of Status is required when you need to provide someone or some other company with the assurance that your Alberta company is in good standing.
Being in good standing means that the company is still active and has not been dissolved for non-filing of federal and/or provincial tax returns or non-filing of the Alberta annual returns. The Alberta Corporate Registry sends out the Alberta annual return to the registered office address for the company each year and if the address is not correct then it is possible that the Alberta company could be in default of filing if it does not receive and file the return.
The Certificate of Status for an Alberta company will provide the accurate current name of the Alberta company, the Alberta corporate number and its status.
Alberta companies must file federal tax returns each year and if those returns are not filed for a number of years the federal government will dissolve the company. If your address is current on file you will be provided with warning from the Revenue Canada Agency that tax returns are due. As well, Alberta companies must file Alberta annual returns each year and if those returns are not filed for a number of years the company will be dissolved. If you have not received your annual return filings you will need to obtain the assistance of a search house contact to obtain copies of these so they can be completed and filed. The Alberta government charges a fee for these annual returns.
The Alberta government might send you a reminder that your annual returns are not filed but this is not an absolute. Any reputable Canadian search house will be able to check for you to see that your annual returns have been filed but there may be a cost for this.
The government does not refund the money if the Certificate of Status cannot be issued. Basically it will issue a Certificate of Status that indicates the Alberta company is not in compliance and you will then need to file any outstanding returns and order a new Certificate of Status. A Certificate of Status is not cheap so if you know in advance you have not made your filings you should at the least ensure all Alberta annual returns are filed before ordering your Certificate of Status. If you have some outstanding tax returns but have not been dissolved then you will still receive a favourable Certificate of Status as long as your annual returns have been filed with the Alberta Corporate Registry. Basically if too many years go by without filing your federal tax returns the Canada Revenue Agency requests the Alberta Corporate Registry to dissolve your company.
A Certificate of Status is not an Alberta corporate search . If you are trying to determine information about an Alberta company you should have an Alberta corporate search done rather than ordering a Certificate of Status.
Certificates of Status are sometimes required by banks, law firms, individuals on the other side of a corporate deal whereby you may be selling your company, buying property, registering a vehicle, etc. Any person or company that your Alberta company is dealing with may ask you to provide them with a Certificate of Status to ensure your company is in good standing with the Alberta government. Knowing this in advance will save you money and problems.