Multiple Business Activities

by Hasan
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Hello,


I have a registered company that offers Technical support.

If I offer other services beside what my business definition is ... can I show earnings on the same GST number or do I need to apply for a new business and GST number?




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Hello Hasan,

My understanding is that you do not need to ... but you may want to.

If you decide you are going to track each business activity separately, CRA will likely use your same BN but change the sub-account (the last four digits of your BN) from 0001 to 0002 ... just as an example.


CRA explains* that you may want to have separate CRA accounts if your business has:

  • more than one business activity

  • more than one location

  • different departments or divisions

  • operate offices in different provinces


If you decide to file each activity separately, each activity must have a separate identity ... such as a split by nature of activities, along with separate records but the same reporting periods.

You will need to complete Form GST10 Application or Revocation of the Authorization to File Separate GST/HST Returns and Rebate Applications for Branches or Divisions. The web link for this form is:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/gf/gst10/gst10-08e.pdf



If you are a sole proprietor, in CRA Guide T4002, it also makes mention of more than one activity. Under Identification on Form T2125, the guide explains:

"Enter the industry code that corresponds to your business from the 'Appendix'.

If more than one code describes your business, or if your business has more than one activity, use the code that most closely describes your main business activity. For example, you might operate a bookstore. However, the store might also sell postage stamps. You would still use industry code 451210 (for books or stationery) and not 491110 (for postal services)."



If you are incorporated, the T2 has a spot on page 2 under "Additional Information" where you have to break down your business activities by percentage.

In this same area, there is also a question that asks if your major business activity has changed.



Conclusion

Each of these references leads me to believe that you do not need a new BN when you add a business activity.

You may want to phone the CRA and verify it with them.

Good luck with your bookkeeping! :0)



*Resource used to respond to this question that may be of interest to you: CRA website Businesses >GST/HST> Registering an account >Opening more locations, branched, or divisions. Cut and paste the following link:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/gst-tps/rgstrng/pnngbrnchs-eng.html

Comments for Multiple Business Activities

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Apr 09, 2010
Quick Method and Business Changes
by: Lakeshore Bookkeeping Services

Hasan,

I forgot to mention that if you are using the Quick method of GST/HST reporting then ...

In the CRA publication RC4058 on page 18, it states that if you are using the Quick method for reporting GST/HST ... and you fundamentally change the nature of the business by:

  • adding a new service;

  • changing your product line; or

  • purchasing another firm


... you must evaluate whether you are still eligible to use the Quick Method ... and/or the remittance rates that are applicable to your supplies.

Read pages 5 and 8 of the publication to determine when you have to start calculating your GST/HST using the regular method.

Cheers!


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