How to Know Your Tax Requirements as Your Business Changes

As you build and grow your business, any number of events and activities can trigger new tax requirements. Here we show you what you need to consider as you grow your business.

Moving From a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership to a Corporation

It might be advantageous to incorporate your business. Refer to Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) webpage Changing your business status for information regarding changes to your tax registration.

It’s recommended that you consult with both an accountant and a lawyer when transitioning to an incorporated company. Corporations have more comprehensive recordkeeping requirements than proprietorships.

Hiring Employees for the First Time

Your business is growing and you need to hire staff for the first time. The provincial government has several tax initiatives to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in hiring and retaining employees, such as the Training Tax Credits for Employers.

Refer to CRA’s webpage How payroll works for comprehensive information on payroll and tax issues for hiring employees. The Life events for employees page might be of particular interest to you if this is your first time hiring employees. You can also refer to our Human Resources page for more information.

Adding New Locations or Divisions

If you’re expanding to new locations, you can keep track of your GST/HST, payroll, and import/export accounts separately (note it’s not necessary to get a new business number for each location). For details on registering new accounts for your business number refer to the CRA’s How it works page.

If you’re adding new divisions or branches, however, special filing rules apply. Refer to the Employers’ Guide – Filing the T4 Slip and Summary and the General Information for GST/HST Registrants guide.

Investing in Research and Development

If you’re going to conduct experimental research and development for your product, you might qualify for the federal government and/or the British Columbia government’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits. Refer to the CRA website for information on the Federal SR&ED Tax Incentive Program. Refer to the provincial government website for information on B.C.’s SR&ED Tax Credit.

If you need assistance with understanding and applying for the federal SR&ED Tax Incentive Program, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) provides consulting services.

Importing and Exporting

If you start importing and/or exporting goods and services, you’ll need to register for an account that will be appended to your current business number. If you don’t have a business number, you’ll need to apply for one to obtain an import/export account. For more information on how to import and export, please refer to the Export Navigator Program, or book a one-on-one consult with our import/export advisors.

Tax Credits or Exemptions

Be sure to check the list of available tax credits on the government of B.C.’s website. Details about each type of tax credit can be found by following the web links on that page.

Provincial Tax Requirements

Unsure if you need to register for a Provincial Sales Tax account? Check the Government of British Columbia’s website for all the information you need.