Bill 12, the Common Business Number Act was introduced today in the Legislature. If passed, it will create the authority for Alberta to adopt the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Business Number system. Using this system can simplify provincial and federal corporate registration requirements, and expand opportunities to integrate online services and share information with other jurisdictions.

“This new legislation is a key component of Alberta’s Small Business Strategy. It will make it more convenient for businesses to work with government programs and services.”

Stephen Khan, Minister of Service Alberta

Currently, government programs use different means to identify business clients. This results in businesses having to use multiple identifiers when dealing with government.  For instance, businesses are issued distinct identifiers when they register their business, open a workers’ compensation account, or obtain a liquor licence. 

The Common Business Number is a unique number already issued by the CRA to every Canadian business for federal income tax purposes. By adopting the Common Business Number, businesses will be able to conveniently identify themselves to participating provincial programs using a single business identifier. 

“We applaud the Alberta Government’s implementation of the one business, one number policy. Simple ways to cut red tape can have a big impact and get small business owners back to what they do best: running their businesses.”

Amber Ruddy, Senior Policy Analyst for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Implementation of the Common Business Number will be staged. The next step would be construction of technical infrastructure required to exchange information with the CRA and other provincial programs. Over the next two to three years, the Common Business Number would be adopted for corporate registrations, with other programs to follow. 

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