find your business number

Original Publish Date: Nov 28,2019

Across Canada, the BN number refers to the Business Number attached to your business with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  When a business incorporates, the CRA BN number is automatically provided as the BN number provides the tax number for the corporation.  With a registered business, the business is taxed under the individual owner/s and the BN number is not automatically assigned.  It is only required if you wish to set up a tax account among a few other items.

Canada Business Number for a Federal Incorporation

When you have completed a federal incorporation, the BN number is automatically provided for the corporation.  We provide the BN number with the completed Articles of Incorporation if completed with us.  If you require your BN number after incorporating your business because it has been misplaced, we can obtain that for you quickly and easily by completing a corporate search on your federal corporation. You simply require your corporate name and select corporate searches across Canada and we will send you the results by email in short order.  If you haven’t yet decided where you are going to federally incorporate, we provide this service as part of our incorporation process.

Ontario Business Number for an Ontario Incorporation

In Ontario, the BN number is also automatically generated with an Ontario Incorporation.  The BN number should be available to the corporate address you provided when you incorporated and it typically takes 4 to 6 business names to receive the BN number from the Canada Revenue Agency by mail, or available by phone within 2 business days.

If you have lost your BN number, contact the CRA directly to obtain it.  If you are looking to Incorporate in Ontario,  we can assist you to obtain your BN number as part of the incorporation  service we provide.

CRA Business Numbers for Other Provinces

Most Provinces provide a BN number automatically with the completion of an Incorporation.  These include other business opportunity Provinces such as British Columbia and Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island.

In all of these provinces, the incorporation will automatically provide the  CRA program account for corporation income tax (RC).  The BN number never changes, just the letters behind each tax account required will change as listed below.

  • GST/HST will have an RT
  • Payroll will have an RP
  • Import-Export will have an RM

Business Number for a Master Business Licence

If you have registered a Master Business Licence as a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership, the BN number is not provided until you require an account set up for the business.

In the Province of Ontario, there are two very similar numbers that can be assigned to a business.  One is the BIN number which is a 9 digit number attached to a Master Business Licence registration whether it be a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Trade Name under a corporation.  This 9 digit number is the unique number assigned to the registration.  Alternatively, there is a 9 digit tax number with the Canada Revenue Agency called the BN number.  The BN number is only applicable when you are applying for HST, Payroll etc. If you are confused by these two numbers, you are not alone and we are here to assist.

The reasons for a BN number for a Master Business Licence are:

  • Tax accounts such as HST, Payroll, Import Export

  • Grants and some funding programs

  • Wholesale licensing

  • Many municipal services

We can assist you with obtaining the BN number when you register your business with us.

If you have registered your business as a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership but have not yet applied for the BN number but would like to, we can assist you with this. Reach out to us at [email protected]

BIN Number for a Master Business Licence in Ontario

If you currently have a Master Business Licence in Ontario as a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Trade name and are looking for the number attached to that business registration, we can help you find it easily and quickly.

The Ontario business number or business identification number is located within your Master Business Licence and is a 9 digit number.

Listed below is an example of a Master Business Licence for your review.  The BIN number or Business Identification number is located below the double bar beside the business name registration.

master business licence sample

If you do not have a copy of your Master Business Licence and only require the business identification number, we can search your existing business by name to obtain and send you the number by email.

Here is the link to request your business identification number.  Simply provide the name of your business and select corporate searches across Canada, opt for Ontario and we will send you a copy of the registration with the BIN number.

Request Your Business Number

By ordering this request, you will have a replacement copy of your current registration with all of the details of your registration including the business name, business address, your name, your address, business activity and the BIN number.

The RESULTS will be emailed to you on a same day basis Monday through Friday, when ordered prior to 3:00 pm.

We can assist you to set up your HST and/or payroll accounts as well. Just reach out to our office and provide the details and we will process on your behalf.

We have also created a video to assist you in understanding the differences between BN, BIN number and corporate number.  Feel free to watch and learn more.

Please feel free to reach out to our staff for any clarification or assistance you may require.

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Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions, that you speak to a qualified professional.