The Senate yesterday approved a controversial labor-supported provision in the trade bill that would force business to give notice of plans to close factories. But the measure, opposed by business and the Reagan administration, faces a critical vote this morning that could kill it.

The Senate action came after Republicans, led by Sen. Dan Quayle (R-Ind.), stalled to prevent a vote yesterday. Quayle was concerned that he would not get a clear shot to keep the plant-closing provision out of the trade bill.

The GOP move appeared to make it harder for Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) to get a final vote on the trade bill this week. He was pressing for a vote yesterday afternoon on the plant-closing measure and had hoped to consider other issues last night.

Plant closing notification is a top priority of organized labor, and Senate Republicans fear its passage will help the AFL-CIO press the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass other items on the unions' legislative agenda.

Major business organizations, including a number that have supported Senate efforts to pass a trade bill, said they will oppose any legislation that contains a plant-closing provision.

The Reagan administration also opposes the provision, and Labor Secretary William E. Brock said its inclusion would mean that White House advisers would recommend that the president not sign the bill. The House-passed bill does not contain such a provision, which means it could be removed in conference if it emerges from the Senate.

According to aides to Quayle and the main proponents of the measure, Senate Labor Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), the vote today is expected to be exceedingly close.

Metzenbaum and Kennedy, in an effort to strengthen their Senate support, had watered down the measure considerably from provisions passed by the Labor Committee. At one point last week, Quayle complained that the provision had changed while he was eating a salad in the Senate dining room, and Metzenbaum retorted that he had picked up two votes with the shift.

In an attempt to win business backing, Metzenbaum and Kennedy cut the amount of advance notice required from as long as 180 days to 60 days; exempted businesses employing fewer than 100 workers; eliminated notice requirements for seasonal and part-time workers, as well as plant closings caused by labor disputes and layoffs involving less than one-third of the work force; and allowed companies trying to either refinance or sell plants to escape the notification requirements.

In addition, requirements that companies provide business information to unions and local governments was eliminated.

The GOP expressed twin objections to the measure: that it would open the Senate to a host of bills supported by organized labor and that forcing advance notice of plant closings would hurt the economy by making it harder for business to close noncompetitive facilities.

"This is the first piece of labor legislation," said Rep. Steve Symms (R-Idaho), "and once they get a taste of victory, the chairman {Kennedy} will come with their whole agenda" -- which includes raising the minimum wage and ending a practice whereby companies run a unionized shop for government contracts and a nonunion operation for private business.

"This is the first bite of the apple that poisoned the economy of Europe," added Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-N.H.).

But Metzenbaum and Kennedy argued that giving workers advance notice of plant closings allows them time to get retraining for good new jobs. They also said business has an obligation to play fair with workers who had helped make a plant successful only to lose their jobs for reasons beyond their control.