Starting your own business based off of your own well-thought-out entrepreneur ideas is an exciting adventure. But, it also requires a lot of preparation. Legal compliance is one of the most important aspects of opening a business. After all, you cannot operate a successful business if it is not legally recognized. It limits your growth and future possibilities and opportunities. If you are an entrepreneur in Canada, there are specific steps you need to take to formalize business operations for Canada Revenue Agency program accounts. The first step is obtaining a business number, the 9 digit account number that identifies your business to the government. Find out how to get a business number to establish your business with the Canadian government below.
1. Gather The Right Info
Before you ever even log on online to file business registration documents, you want to be sure you have the necessary information at hand. Gather all the necessary business documents and information before you attempt to apply for a business number. You will want to have all your information, as well as other owner information if you have partners. In addition, you will need to provide information regarding the type of business ownership, legal business name and your trade name or operating name if it is different, business location, major business activity and types of program accounts your business requires. Once you have this information on hand, you can move on to the next step.
2. Visit Business Registration Online
Navigate to the BRO portal to file for a business number. The Business Registration Online portal, or BRO, allows you to register for a business number online. This makes the task simpler for all types of business owners and leaves you more time to learn how to make a prototype. You can also use the website to register for the four main CRA program accounts. Visit the BRO website to get a business number for your new company.
3. Click Register Now
Once you have navigated to the BRO website, you can click “Register Now” to start the process. The first thing you will be asked is to validate your identity using your social insurance number. That is why it is so important to prepare the information before you get started. Follow through with the prompts as they appear by clicking “Next.” Do this until you reach the end of the web form and can hit the “Submit” button.
Now, all that is left to do is wait for your BRO summary. The BRO summary presents you with your 9-digit business number. It also contains your 15-character program account number. If applicable, you will also receive a GST/HST program account registration confirmation letter at the same time. Once you have this information, your business is officially registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.
5. Alternative Filing Methods
If you are not a fan of e-filing for your CRA business number, there are other ways you can go about it. The Canada Revenue Agency also accepts business number applications by mail or fax. You will just need to print the form RC1, Request for a Business Number and mail or fax it to your nearest tax service office or tax centre. Or, you can even get a business number by phone. Call the business inquiries line at 1-800-959-5525 to apply by phone. Just be ready to answer all the questions asked in part A of Form RC1 before you call. These are the only other ways to request a CRA business number officially.
If you are a Canadian entrepreneur, you will need to request a business number from the CRA before you officially start business operations. This is required even for home based business ideas. Thankfully, the government made it super easy for entrepreneurs in Canada to complete this task. You can apply for a business number online at the Business Registration Online website in just a few short minutes. Or, if you prefer to know how to get a business number offline, consider mailing or faxing in the RC1 form. Now that you know how to get a business number from the Canadian Revenue Agency, you are sure to start your business operations off on the right foot to maintain compliance and experience years of success. Good luck!
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