[Canada] Register your business with the CRA

If you're not sure whether you need to register your business, Wave always recommends consulting a tax professional.

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, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
  • Assign and supervise tasks

If you pay your nanny, baby-sitter, or other domestic worker a salary, the CRA will likely require you to report that income and pay the associated taxes. However, you may not be required to register with the CRA. For further information about employing a caregiver, baby-sitter, or domestic worker, view the Canadian government’s website.

Open 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, view the Canadian government’s website.

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 with the CRA.

Enter your payroll program account number into your Wave account

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

  1. Log in to your Wave account at waveapps.com.
  2. Open the top right menu by clicking your business name, then click Business settings.
  3. Under the Payroll section, select Tax Profile button, and enter your number on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not a business, so 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 baby-sitter, the income and taxes will be recorded for the business number you create when you register with the CRA. Using your business number, you can generate a T4 for your nanny or baby-sitter, who can 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.