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Do you have to be the ritual leader when creating your ally spirit? (Note that I would still be taking part.) I'm asking because the character I'm making doesn't have any skill in ritual spellcasting, so it takes a lot of Karma just to get to the point where making one is practical.

If I don't have to be the ritual leader, then there is a good (read: definite) chance of my character's talismonger, who specializes in rituals, alchemy, and artifacing, being willing to fill in.

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You seem to get some of the rules wrong:

(Unless mentioned, page numbers refer to the Street Grimoire)

Creating the Spirit Formula for a ally spirit is not a ritual and it requires a extended Arcana + Logic test (see p. 200f) and can be done by anyone (Provided (s)he knows Arcana of course).

Ally Conjuration (p. 122) is a Ritual with the Minion descriptor. The description of the descriptor (SR5, p. 297) includes the following statement:

Whatever minion is created is bound to the ritual leader[, ...]

Therefore person that gets the Ally Spirit must be the ritual leader. Also you have to follow the Summoning rules for the Conjuring Ritual, which means you could get help from friends, but only as Teamwork and only if they are capable of summoning the spirit type your ally belongs to too (see Group Summoning, SR5, p. 300). Furthermore they cannot support you for the Binding test.

Note that the ritual uses the rules of Summoning/Binding (p. 201), so you don't need the Ritual Spellcasting skill, but the Summoning/Binding skills.

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