Government Regulations and Licenses

All entrepreneurs have general rules they must follow to operate their business, including government regulations and taxes.  Some businesses may have additional requirements and licenses for their industry, location, and/or profession.  It is the responsibility of the business owner to identify,  acquire, and renew all required licenses, and adhere to all regulations and standards of their business.  These may change over time, so it is important to monitor and update as needed.

Government Regulations and Licenses 

  • Taxes – What federal and provincial taxes apply to your business e.g. GST/HST?  Who will manage your taxes? What are the reporting requirements?
  • Registering your business – what is required for registering a business?
  • Permits and licenses – Municipal, Provincial, Federal
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property
  • Selling to the Government

Government Relations and Licenses – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Business Number?

A Business Number (BN) is a federal government numbering system. Canadian businesses that register for one or more of the following accounts will receive a BN:

  • Corporate Income Tax;
  • Importer/Exporter account number;
  • Payroll (source) deductions (Trust accounts);
  • Goods and Services Tax

There is no fee for a BN. For further information or to register a business number, visit:

Business Window, Canada Revenue Agency
5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
1-800-959-5525
http://www.businessregistration.gc.ca

What is Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)?

Most goods and services sold or provided in Canada are taxable at the rate of 5% (GST) or 13% (HST). The HST applies in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, British Columbia and Ontario. All businesses with annual GST taxable revenue of $30,000 or more must register for GST with the Canada Revenue Agency. Firms with less than $30,000 annual revenue may opt to not collect the GST/HST but should contact the Canada Revenue Agency for details. Businesses must register to obtain a Business Number with a GST/HST account. There is no fee to register for a GST number. To register in person, visit:

Business Window, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
5800 Hurontario Street
Mississauga, ON L5R 4B4
1-800-959-5525
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/

Do I have to pay Employers Health Tax?

All employers are required to pay the Employers Health Tax. The first $500,000 of the payroll is exempt. The Employers Health Tax on self-employed income has been eliminated. For more information contact:

Mississauga Regional Tax Office
77 City Centre Drive, 1st floor
Mississauga, Ontario
L5B 1M5
Toll-free: 1-800-265-9969
Telephone: (905) 273-9490
Fax: (905) 949-3388

What Corporate Tax numbers do I need?

For those business registered as an incorporation in Ontario, the follow numbers are assigned.

Ontario Corporations Tax Number

The Ontario Corporations Tax Number is assigned when a corporation has incorporated with the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (MCBS). This number is required for filing your combined CT23 Corporations Tax and Annual Return. Once registered with MCBS you may obtain your Ontario Corporations Tax number generally 14 days after registration with MCBS by calling in Toront 416-920-9048 or 1-800-263-7965.

Business Number (BN)

The Federal Business Number (BN) is issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This number is required for filing your federal tax return as well as your combined CT23 Corporations Tax and Annual Return.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers a number of FREE videos and recorded webinars that present information about CRA programs and initiatives, including HST, Payroll and keeping proper tax dcoumentation. For more information visit their website at: Government of Canada / Businesses Video Gallery 

How do you report income tax for sole proprietorship or partnership?

You report your business and professional income on your individual tax return.

The fiscal period for most new businesses is the calendar year. Your fiscal period can be less than 12 months in some instances, but it cannot be more than 12 months. Business expenses are costs related to your business activities. You can usually deduct any reasonable expense related to your business activities. But remember that you can ONLY deduct business expenses. You cannot deduct personal expenses.

For further information it is recommend that clients read the CRA publication “Business and Professional Income” or contact the Business Window of CRA for further information.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) offers a number of FREE videos and recorded webinars that present information about CRA programs and initiatives, including HST, Payroll and keeping proper tax dcoumentation. For more information visit their website at: Government of Canada / Businesses Video Gallery 

How do I register for an HST number?

There are three ways to register for GST/HST account:

  1. Online: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/registering-your-business/business-registration-online-overview.html
  2. Telephone: 1-800-959-5525
  3. Mail or fax:

Do I need business insurance?

Although business insurance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that you consider business insurance. The types of insurance available include liability, building, contents, business interruption, marine cargo, employee injuries, miscellaneous coverage, automobile insurance, and home-based business insurance. If you operate a home-based business, it is recommended that you review your home insurance policy for the home-base business clause. To obtain insurance, please contact your local insurance agent.

Do I need to register for HST?

If you sell goods and services in Ontario, you may need a Business Number to charge and remit the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

You have to register for a GST/HST account if both of the following situations apply

  • You provide taxable supplies in Canada (unless your only supplies are of real property sold other than in the course of a business) and have annual taxable revenue of $30,000 or more.  Firms with less than $30,000 annual revenue may opt to not collect the GST/HST but should contact the Canada Revenue Agency for details.
  • You are not a small supplier.

You cannot register for a GST/HST account if you provide only exempt goods and services.

For more information about GST/HST requirements visit canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses 

What is WSIB? And Do I need it?

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

If you employ workers on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis in an industry or business covered under the Worker’s Compensation Act, you must register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) within ten (10) days of employing your first worker.

It is voluntary for self-employed persons to contribute to the WSIB. Contact the nearest WSIB office to obtain a registration kit, which includes information on assessments, coverage, accident reporting requirements and appeals procedures. Call the WSIB at: (416) 344-1013 or www.wsib.on.ca.


STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS

  1. Developing your Business Idea
  2. Conduct Market Research
  3. Understand Government Regulations & Licenses
  4. Determine your Business Staffing Requirements
  5. Choose your Business Location
  6. Develop a Business Plan
  7. Determine your Business Financing Options
  8. Determine your Business Structure
  9. Register your Business
  10. Ready,Set, Launch your Business!

LEARN MORE


Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC)

Whether you are starting or growing your business, we can help! MBEC is your central source for small business information, resources and guidance. We’ll answer your questions about registering and starting a new business, preparing a business plan, taxes, government regulations, available government programs and much more! If you have a question, or would like to contact us, please submit an inquiry or visit the MBEC office at the Mississauga Central Library (4th Floor).

Learn about: Starting a Business Growing a Business

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