A Joint Stock Registration is Not an HST Registration. Canada 150 Recommendation #40

Tuesday’s= Starting a Business

New business owners are sometimes confused by the term “registering your business.”

A business is registered with the Joint Stocks department run by each province in Canada. It is a good idea to register, that way if prospective customers check – you are a registered business. If you don’t register with Joint Stocks you can still be a legitimate business, but you won’t be on the list and new customers might be more wary to deal with you.

When I ask business owners if they are registered for GST they often say yes, which is actually a lie. They are registered to do business, not registered for GST. Some of this confusion is a result of the consolidation of various government agencies. Some provinces offer one stop shopping. You get the name registration and a business number all at the same place at the same time. This leads people to believe that they have done all of the registering that they need to do.

In fact, you have to either phone Canada Revenue Agency or go online with the CRA website to register for GST. The process is not difficult and does not cost anything. In fact, if you know your name and address you will be able to answer half of the questions.

You cannot charge GST unless you are registered to do so.



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