What is a business number and how do I get one?

Business Number 101: A guide to understanding the basics of a business number.

This is a unique number issued by the CRA that is required to issue a T-4 Slip and for registering for GST/HST. For example, if you’re running a sole proprietorship, you will fill out Line 101 of your personal tax return and then take this number along with your personal information, to the nearest Tax Expert retail office. If you don't have your business number on file, it's likely your employer will not be able to issue the T-4 Slip click this link to find the retail office closest to you.

A business number is a unique number that identifies your business and simplifies your dealings with the federal, provincial, and municipal governments in Canada.  If you operate a business:

  • In Canada outside of Québec: you can register your business with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and get a 9-digit business number.  Click this link to learn more!
  • In Québec : you can register for your 10-digit Québec enterprise number (NEQ) with Registraire des entreprises. Click this link to learn more!

Not all businesses need a business number. You only need a business number if you need a program account for remitting certain taxes such as GST/HST, payroll deductions, import-export taxes or for filing information returns, etc. 

Registering your business with the Canada Revenue Agency

You can use any of these methods to get a business number:

You'll need following information to register your business:

  • The type of business ownership (sole proprietor, trust, or partnership)
  • Owner’s information including name, social insurance number, occupation, and contact number
  • Contact person’s information
  • Legal name of the business and its trade or operating name
  • Business location
  • Major business activity
  • Type of program accounts you need 

Registering your business with Registraire des entreprises

Registraire des entreprises offers the following online services for business registration:

You may also have to register your business with Revenu Québec if you need to submit GST/HST and QST, source deductions, import-export taxes, etc. Click this link for more information. 

Where can I learn more?