[Canada] Register your business with the CRA

If you're not sure whether this FAQ applies to you, Wave always recommends consulting a tax professional.

If you pay your nanny, babysitter, or other domestic worker a salary, the CRA will likely require you to report that income and pay the associated taxes. 

But how do you know whether you're required to register with the CRA?

We've created a checklist with resources from the CRA to help you determine what you need to do. 

Determine if you are an employer who must register with the CRA

You are considered an employer when you:

  • Hire a person
  • Establish regular working hours (for example, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Assign and supervise tasks

For further information about employing a caregiver, baby-sitter, or domestic worker, click here.

Learn more about opening a payroll program account with the CRA

A payroll program account is an account number assigned to employers for the purposes of identifying themselves when dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

For further information about when you have to open a payroll account number and how to open it, click here.

A typical payroll program account number looks like: "12345 6789 RP 0001" with "RP" being the CRA program account identifier for Payroll. 

Register your business

Once you've determined that you are considered an employer, you can register your business.

if you want to skip straight to the register your business page, click here.

Enter your payroll program account number into your Wave account

Once you receive your payroll account number, you can enter it into your Wave account following these steps:

  1. Log in to your Wave account
  2. Click the Settings tab in the left navigation menu
  3. Select Tax Profile button under the Payroll section, and enter your number on this page

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not a business! Why do I have to become a business?

You may not consider your home a business, but you could be considered a business according to the CRA. When a person is paid for regular work, the CRA generally requires reports of the income earned and taxes paid. If you run payrolls and pay your nanny or babysitter, the income and taxes will be recorded for the business number you create when you register with the CRA. Using your business number, you will be able to generate a T4 for your nanny or babysitter, who will then be able to use the T4 to report their income.

What's the difference between a payroll account number and business number?

Your Business Number is a nine digit account number that identifies your business to federal, provincial, and municipal governments. A payroll account number is a type of business number, and you can sign up for a payroll (deductions) account number when you sign up for a business number.