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Registration with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Region: Ontario Answer # 0203

Most businesses are required to collect and remit federal taxes and will need to register with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to do so. This involves registering for either a program account(s) and/or for a Business Number (BN).

What is a Business Number?

A BN is a 9-digit number that is unique to a business or legal entity. It is required if you:

  • incorporate or need a CRA program account;
  • incorporate your business federally;
  • register your business online with CRA; and
  • register or incorporate your business in:
    • Alberta
    • British Columbia
    • Manitoba
    • Nova Scotia
    • Ontario
    • Saskatchewan
    • New Brunswick
    • Prince Edward Island

What is a Program Account?

A program account is 2 letters and 4 digits attached to a business number that is used for specific business activities that must be reported to the CRA.

The main program accounts most businesses register with CRA are:

  • Collecting and remitting GST/HST (RT)
  • Import or export (RM)
  • Payroll deductions (RP)
  • Corporate income tax (RC)
  • Information returns (RZ)

When a business registers for one or more of these programs, CRA assigns both a program account for each, and a BN. CRA assigns each business just one Business Number (BN) to simplify correspondence with them. Once you receive your BN, it can be used when opening other program accounts in the future.

Registering for a Program Account and Business Number

When you register for a program account and Business Number, you will have to provide CRA with information about your business, such as:

  • whether the business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or registered charity
  • your legal business name
  • address of the business
  • description of the business

Registration with CRA can be done online, by mail or fax, or by phone.

Other business taxes

There are other taxes and premiums that businesses pay that are administered by other government offices and do not use the Business Number assigned by CRA. These include Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance and the Ontario Employer Health Tax. Visit Canada Revenue Agency for more information regarding registering your business.

For legal advice and assistance with tax planning, a CRA tax dispute, or other tax issues, contact Tax Chambers LLP

Is your business protected?

Whether you’re a start-up or well-established business, life insurance can help protect your business so that you can still achieve your business goals in the event of the unexpected. It’s important to get professional advice for your unique situation, and it is more affordable than you think. For a free consultation and quote, contact an Empire Life Insurance advisor today.


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