Business Registration - Frequently Asked Questions

What is OneStop?

OneStop's integrated business registration services provide entrepreneurs with "single window" web-based access to federal and provincial public sector agencies and local governments:


Why should I use OneStop?


Who do I call if I need help?

Call the OneStop Help Desk. When you call the OneStop Help Desk, you will receive personal attention.


What applications are available through OneStop?

You can use OneStop to apply for:


Can I use OneStop to incorporate a company?

No, but OneStop provides a link to Corporate Online where you can incorporate a company online, or you can go directly to


How do I know which application to fill out?

If you don't know which application to fill out, OneStop will ask a few questions about your business and then recommend the appropriate applications.

If you know which applications to complete, you can skip this process and go directly to the registration menu.


When and where can I access OneStop?

Kiosk Locations: Located conveniently throughout the province with staff available to assist if necessary, Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Kiosk locations are listed on our web site, or call our OneStop Help Desk toll free at 1 (877) 822-6727 for your nearest location.


How long does it take to complete the applications?

Usually less than one hour is required to enter your information however it will depend on how many applications you complete.


How long does it take partner agencies to process the applications?

Some registrations are processed immediately and some will require a few days.


Where can I find information on starting a business?

You will find information on starting a new business, including the regulations affecting most business start-ups in British Columbia, at SmallBusinessBC.


Do I need to register my business?

If you choose to carry on a business under a name other than your own personal name and are engaged in business for trading, manufacturing or mining purposes, you must register with the BC Registry Services within three months of your business start date.

Note: Registration does not provide protection for the name and does not mean that the name will be available if you decide to incorporate a company using this name at a later date.

If you establish a business in your own name, without adding any other words (e.g. "and sons/daughters" or "and associates"), you are not required to register the business with the BC Registry Services (in fact, BC Registry Services will not approve your name as a business name), but you may still have to register with other agencies.

If you require business advice about starting your business, you are urged to contact a lawyer and/or an accountant.


Do I need to have my business name approved?

Yes, you must have your business name approved prior to registering a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership with BC Registry Services (or incorporating a company). When you register your business, you will be asked for the name reservation (NR) number given to you when your name was approved.

Your approved business name is reserved for 56 days. Within 56 days you must register your business with the BC Registry Services.

Questions? Contact the OneStop Help Desk toll free 1 (877) 822-6727 in Canada; or in the Greater Victoria area, call (250) 370-0332.

Additional information can also be found on the BC Registry Services website.


What is a Business Number?

The Business Number (BN) is a unique number which makes your dealings with the public sector simpler, easier, and more convenient. Your Business Number, can be used across the country to commonly identify your business with public sector programs and services.

You only need to remember your Business Number.


The Business Number enables your information to be safely and securely shared with other Business Number partners, reducing the need to re-enter your information over and over when completing common registrations.


How do I get a Business Number (BN)?

If you don't already have a Business Number, a Business Number will be assigned to your business the first time you register with a participating agency.

Below are registrations that you can complete from OneStop that will request a Business Number.


Do I need to apply for a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) number?

Yes, if you will be selling or leasing taxable goods or services, or offer 4 or more units of accommodation, as described on the Ministry of Finance website.

To apply for a PST number, you will need:

Questions? Contact the Ministry of Finance

Do I need to apply for a Hotel Room Tax (HRT) Account?

The HRT was repealed as of June 30, 2010. If you are offering 4 or more units of accommodation after April 1, 2013, then you need to apply for a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) account.

Can I use my old SST number (RXXXXXX)?

No, the PST imposed under the Provincial Sales Tax Act is distinct from the previous sales tax imposed under the Social Service Tax Act (SSTA). Therefore you cannot use the registration number issued to you under the SSTA and must register for a new PST number (PST-XXXX-XXXX).

Do I need to register with WorkSafeBC?

Virtually all employers in British Columbia are required to register with WorkSafeBC - Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. as soon as they hire workers. Individuals who are not automatically covered by WorkSafeBC (a partner in a business, a proprietor, or the spouse of a proprietor) can apply for optional coverage through Personal Optional Protection.

Questions? Contact the WorkSafeBC Employer Service Centre at (604) 244-6181 (Vancouver), toll free 1 (888) 922-2768 or visit


Do I need to register for Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) with the CRA?

Yes, if you sell or provide goods and services in Canada and your annual, world-wide GST/HST taxable sales, including those of any associates, are more than $30,000.00.


Do I need to register for Payroll Deductions with the CRA?

Yes, if you are an employer and pay salary, wages, bonuses, vacation pay or tips to your employees; or you provide a benefit, such as board and lodging, to your employees.


Do I need to register for an Import and/or Export account with the CRA?

Yes, if you are a commercial importer and/or exporter.


Do I need to register for Corporate Income Tax with the CRA?

Yes, if your business is federally or provincially incorporated, or you are a non-resident corporation operating in Canada. The CRA registers most Canadian corporations for corporate income tax and assigns a Business Number shortly after incorporation.

Questions re: GST/HST, payroll deductions, import/export or corporate income tax accounts? Contact the Canada Revenue Agency:


Do I need a Business Licence?

Most municipalities require the licensing of business premises. A list of municipalities that accept business licences completed through the OneStop Business Registration service can be found on our web site.

Business licence applications are also available from the municipal office. Fees and types of licences are determined by municipal bylaws, and vary from one municipality to another. At present, business licences are not required in most non-municipal areas of the province.

You may also be required to contact municipalities in which you conduct business but do not maintain premises to determine whether or not a business licence is required. Some municipalities have an intermunicipal licensing agreement allowing mobile businesses (those businesses based in one municipality and providing services in multiple municipalities such as general contractors and landscapers) to operate in all participating municipalities.

If your business falls into this category and you plan to apply for a business licence in multiple municipalities, check first to see which municipalities offer an Intermunicipal or Inter-Community Business Licence (IBL/ICBL)

In addition to business licences, municipalities administer the licensing of commercial vehicles.

Questions? Contact the individual municipality. Visit CivicInfoBC for contact information.


What is BCeID?

The British Columbia electronic Identifier (BCeID) is an online service offered through the BC Government to provide secure electronic access to many government services.

With a BCeID you can sign in to government participating sites using your BCeID and a password so you don't have to remember a different Login ID and password at every Web site.

With BCeID, you don't need to enroll for a Login ID and password at each new site you visit - simply use the Login ID and password that you created as your BCeID to sign in to any participating government site or service.

At this time, OneStop allows users to logon to the Business Registration application with either a OneStop ID (created by the user during their session), or a Business BCeID. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch also uses BCeID to provide convenient access to online renewals of your Liquor Licence. To determine if you will require a Business BCeID, please review the next section, "Do I need a Business BCeID?"


Do I need a Business BCeID?

You will need a Business BCeID if you:

For a complete list of government e-Services that use BCeID, visit the Online Service Directory.


How do I obtain a Business BCeID?

In order to get a Business BCeID, you will need to go to the BCeID website and apply for one directly. In order to verify who you are, you will be asked to authenticate yourself. If you have completed a registration of a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership through OneStop's Business Registration application and you have received your Statement of Registration, you will be able to use your OneStop session to authenticate yourself and complete the verification process.

If you have not completed a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership registration through OneStop, other options for authentication are available during the Business BCeID application process.


How much do these services cost?

There is no fee directly associated with the use of the OneStop Business Registration Service.

Fees are charged for:


What data can be shared between OneStop and Canada Revenue Agency?

Below is a list of data that can be shared if you are transferred to the Canada Revenue Agency partner web site and if you consent to share your data.

Your answers to the following questions may also be included:


What data can be shared between OneStop and Provincial partners?

Below is a list of data that can be shared if you are transferred to the WorkSafeBC, BCeID or Ministry of Finance (PST) partner web site and if you consent to share your data.

Your answers to the following questions may also be included:


Can I still apply for registration if I do not consent to share my data?

You can choose to be transferred to a partner's web site without consenting to share your data. However, if you do not consent to share your information and it is required by the partner, you will need to re-enter the information.


Who has access to my data?

The Government of British Columbia is committed to protecting your privacy through responsible personal information management practices.

The personal information you submit will be used only by authorized government staff to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally collected or for a use consistent with that purpose. We will not share your information with other public bodies or individuals except as authorized by law or as directed by you via the Business Registration services. We will not sell, share or disclose your information to any type of mailing list.

For further information click on the 'Privacy' link at the bottom of any of the OneStop screens.


How do I register a "Doing Business As" name?

Registering a "Doing Business As" name allows you to legally operate your business under a new or additional name. This business structure is known as a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership.

There are two steps to register a "doing business as" name. The first step is to have the business name approved. Visit Names Request Online to reserve your name. Once you have received your name approval and NR number, and have met any and all conditions required on the Name Approval form, the second step is to instantly register your proprietorship or partnership online on the OneStop Business Registry website.