Opening a payroll account - Segment 3


Host: Welcome to the segment called Opening a payroll account part of the Payroll Information for a New Small Business video.

I'm your host Janice Novak.

With me is Frank Stewart who will share with us, in this segment, information that he has obtained from the CRA regarding opening a payroll account.

Host: Welcome Frank, now that we've gone over what an employer is, tell me about opening a payroll account.

Subject matter expert: Thank you Janice. Well, the first thing you will need is a Business Number – usually referred to as a BN, which is an identification system to simplify how businesses deal with the CRA.

We won't go into the BN in too much detail here, since there is another video called Starting your business, which covers that in its Registering your business segment.

Host: I have just one question about the BN before we move on. What are some circumstances where someone may already have a BN?

Subject matter expert: Well Janice, any business that is a corporation should already have a BN for filing corporate income tax.

Anyone with a GST/HST account or an import/export account would also have a BN.

Host: So, let's say I already called for a GST/HST account. Do I apply for a payroll account in the same way?

Subject matter expert: Well, the idea behind the BN is one business, one number. The letters and numbers that follow the BN are used to identify the different program accounts you might need.

You would have to contact the CRA again and a payroll account identifier will simply be added to your existing business number.

There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • go to the CRA webpage dedicated to Business Registration Online (BRO), or at; or
  • call the business enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525.

Host: What if I'm just getting started and haven't registered?

Subject matter expert: Well, if you don't have a BN, you can register for a BN using the Internet, the telephone, or by mail.

Information on how to register and what you need before contacting the CRA can be found by going to and selecting "How to register."

Host: Thank you Frank.

This concludes the segment called Opening a payroll account, part of the CRA's Payroll Information for a New Small Business video. Thank you for watching.

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