Federal Business Information


Federal Business Number (BN)
The BN is a numbering system that simplifies and streamlines the way businesses deal wih the federal government. It is based on the idea of one business, one number. The BN - Federal Business Number includes the four major Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business accounts:


Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
If your businesses’ gross earnings are expected to be over $30,000/year, you must apply for a GST/HST number. Businesses grossing under this amount can voluntarily register for a GST number. Further information on GST can be found at the CRA - Canada Revenue Agency website It is manditory for some businesses to be registered from the start of business.


Payroll Deductions
Employers must register with the federal government, and make deductions for Income Tax, Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) from your employess and remit the deductions and the employer's portion to the Canada Revenue Agency. For further information, visit Payroll 


Contractors: Please note, the Canada Revenue Agency as a very good tool to help you in determining if a worker is an employee or a self-employed individual. Please follow this link to Employee or Self-Employed.

If your business will be importing commercial shipments from a foreign country, or exporting commercial goods to other countries, you should register for an import/export account. Here are some links to further information:

Importing - Importing Info Guide


International Trade Branch is Ontario's export development agency helping the province's new and experienced exporters expand their export sales, compete in world markets, and assist foreign buyers in finding Ontario suppliers for their purchasing requirements

Exporting-World Market Reports 


Corporate Income Tax

If your business is federally or provincially incorporated, or if you are a non-resident corporation operating in Canada, you must file a corporate income tax return. In most cases, new corporations will automatically receive a BN from the CRA within 45 days of incorporating at the federal or provincial level.


Registration for the federal BN can be performed on-line at: www.businessregistration.gc.ca, by phone, 1-800-959-5525, or through the Muskoka Small Business Centre.


Consumer Products/Labelling

Most products sold to consumers in Canada have some type of labelling requirements associated with the product's use, warnings and claims. These labelling requirements apply to anyone who manufactures, sells, buys and/or imports products for public use or consumption. 

  • Food: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for food safety, and administers the federal labelling requirements for pre-packaged foods under the Food and Drugs Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. Further information, visit Food Labelling
  • Non-Food Items: Industry Canada administers the packaging and labelling of non food items, through the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. Guide to the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations
  • Cosmetics, Toys and Children's Clothing are regulated by Health Canada, through the Hazardous Products Act, and the Product Safety Programme.
  • Textiles: Most consumer textile articles offered for sale in Canada, including clothing, carpets, upholstered articles etc., must bear a label with informaton on fibre content and dealer identity. For further information, see: Labelling Textiles. Consumer Product Safety.  The filling materials used are inspected for compliance with safety regulations and tested for quality and cleanliness. Further information can be found at www.tssa.org


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