Applying for a Business Number

Written by Sophie Duncan, CPA, CA on Jun. 5, 2018

A Business Number is a nine-digit identifier provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to each Canadian business.

This number is given to register tax accounts and to make communication with CRA easier.  Each legal entity (sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or trust) requires one business number and each business number can be registered for any or all of the four major tax accounts needed to operate your business;

  • GST
  • Payroll
  • Corporate taxes
  • Import/Export

The business number consists of three parts.  The first 9 digits are the identifier, followed by 2 letters which identifies the account and finally a 4 digit reference number.

  • GST – 123456789 RT 0001
  • Payroll – 123456789 RP 0001
  • Corporate – 123456789 RC 0001
  • Import/Export – 123456789 RM 0001

Before you are able to register your business for a business number, you will require the following information;

1)      Your Social Insurance Number

2)      The Business Structure (Sole proprietor, corporation etc)

3)      Business Name

4)      The Location of the Business

5)      A description of the major business activity

6)      The name and contact information for the contact person

7)      Sales amounts (if you are registering for GST)

8)      The Fiscal Year end

CRA has created a Form RC1 – Request for a Business Number to aid in outlining all the information they require.  You can find the form here

You can register for your business number three different ways;

1)      By Phone – You can call CRA at 1-800-959-5525. Be prepared to answer Part A of the RC1 form outlined above.

2)      By Mail or Fax – You can mail or fax the RC1 form outlined above to;

Main Floor

9700 Jasper Avenue

Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4C8

Fax: 780-495-3533

If your business is not located in Edmonton, please check this link for the tax service office you should send the form to –

3)      Online – You can register online

The online version will take you through a list of questions similar to the RC1 form outlined above.  Once all the fields are entered, a business number will automatically be assigned at the end of the questionnaire to be used as soon as you would like.

Alternatively, KWB can register a business for you if provided with the required information. If you would like us to do that for you, please call us at 780-466-6204 or email us by clicking here.

Thanks to Sophie Duncan of KWB Chartered Accountants for providing this content.

Sophie Duncan, CPA, CA

Sophie Duncan, CPA, CA


Sophie joined KWB as a manager in January 2013. She received her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta in 2006 and went on to article with MNP in Edmonton and earn her CA designation in 2009. She stayed involved with the CA School of Business after becoming a CA and used to facilitate modules and mark module exams.

Sophie and her husband have a boston terrier and now a young son that keep them active. In her spare time, Sophie also enjoys skiing, cooking, golfing and camping.

Sophie's Contact Information

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