Change of owners, partners or directors

Depending on your business, a change of owners, partners or directors may require different actions, such as changing legal names or registering a new business number and new program accounts.

This page covers general situations. You will find information on the following:

Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is legally and directly tied to one specific individual. If you sell or stop operating your business, you must close your business number (BN) and all your CRA program accounts by calling us at 1-800-959-5525.

A new owner can't continue using the old BN. They will have to get a new BN and new program accounts for the business. For more information, go to Business number.

If you are a sole proprietor who is a non-resident of Canada or you have a social insurance number beginning with a 9 or a 0, go to Non-resident GST/HST Enquiries.


If the structure of your partnership changes and a partner leaves or one is added, call us at 1-800-959-5525.

For non-resident partnership changes, go to Non-resident GST/HST Enquiries.

A change of partners will have a different impact on your business depending on your partnership agreement. The legal name of the business may need to change depending on how it was registered:

In some cases, if the partners change, the business is considered a new legal entity and requires a new business number as well as new CRA program accounts.


Before you contact the CRA, any structure or owner changes for a corporation must be updated and validated with the federal or provincial incorporating authorities. The CRA can't control how long it takes for an incorporating authority to update their registry.

Once the changes to your corporation are visible on the corporate registry, send supporting documentation to the CRA to update business and owner information. For more information and steps to update director and business information, go to Access to corporate tax information.

If your business is incorporated or formed outside of Canada, go to Non-resident GST/HST Enquiries.

It is important to make sure that the incorporating authority's registry and the CRA have the correct directors' names on file. In certain circumstances, there may be legal implications for outgoing and incoming directors. We recommend that you get familiar with the corporate laws in the jurisdiction in which you are incorporated. For more information on a shareholder's limited liability, go to Assessing your responsibility for corporation's debts.

For more information on director's liability, see Information Circular IC89-2, Directors' Liability.

Other considerations

In addition to the situations already covered, some changes may need further actions, have tax implications or have program specific requirements. We recommend that you review the rules for your business number's program accounts. For example, your payroll deductions accounts may need special attention when your business is undergoing changes. For more information, go to Changes to your business entity in Guide T4001, Employers' Guide – Payroll Deductions and Remittances.

For more information on other situations, go to Changes to your business and Canada Revenue Agency program accounts.

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