Applying for a Business Number

Temporary Changes to EI (Employment Insurance)

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.

Strategic Business Goal Setting

Get insight into your business with ONSight Advisory

If you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner, click here to learn more about our ONSight Advisory program. We offer specially curated business coaching and advisory support to help you thrive.

Written By:

Other Blog Posts:

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter!