The Difference Between a Business Number and a Business Identification Number (BIN) in Ontario

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When establishing a business in Ontario, it is essential to understand the regulatory identifiers required: a Business Number (BN) and a Business Identification Number (BIN). The BN is a federal requirement for tax purposes and other governmental interactions, while the BIN is specific to Ontario and necessary for provincial transactions and legal operations. Differentiating these numbers is essential as they are fundamental to compliance and the smooth operation of your business. Keep reading to learn more about these numbers, their differences, their importance, and more.

What Is a Business Number?

A Business Number (BN) is a nine-digit federal tax identifier provided to incorporated companies automatically and most recently assigned to business registration in Ontario. This number enables streamlined interactions with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), serving as a gateway to various government programs. Essential uses of the BN include:

  • Collection and remittance of GST/HST
  • Management of payroll deductions
  • Filing of corporate taxes (when applicable)
  • Handling of import/export activities

What is a Business Identification Number?

A Business Identification Number (BIN) is a nine-digit number assigned at the Ontario provincial level that is crucial for entities involved in business registration in Ontario. This identifier is essential for several functions, including:

  • Conducting provincial transactions
  • Facilitating legal identifications within Ontario
  • Interacting with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services
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Key Differences Between BN and BIN

Understanding the key differences between a Business Number (BN) and a Business Identification Number (BIN) is crucial when navigating through business registration in Ontario. Here are the primary distinctions:

  • Issuing Authority: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides the BN, making it relevant for federal interactions. Conversely, the BIN is issued by the Ontario Ministry with a registered business such as a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or trade name from Consumer and Business Services for provincial dealings.
  • Purpose: The BN manages federal government services such as GST/HST and payroll deductions. The BIN, however, is used within Ontario to facilitate provincial transactions and legal recognition.
  • Required Transactions: A BN is necessary for federal tax obligations and activities like importing or exporting goods. In contrast, a BIN is essential for all provincial business registrations and local transactions.

Why Do You Need BN and BIN?

Understanding the necessity of both a Business Number (BN) and a Business Identification Number (BIN) is vital for compliance and operational efficiency in Ontario. A BN is imperative for any business with employees or those engaged in taxable activities exceeding the $30,000 threshold, as it helps in federal tax management, including GST/HST collection, payroll, and corporate taxes. 

On the other hand, a BIN is essential for any registered business enterprise operating within Ontario as it provides provincial identification and facilitates legal transactions. Together, these numbers ensure businesses effectively meet regulatory requirements, streamlining various government interactions and simplifying compliance processes.  The BIN number is not provided to Ontario Incorporations.

How to Get a Business License in Ontario?

Securing a business license in Ontario is critical in establishing your operations legally and efficiently. First, assess whether your business type and location require a license, as this varies. Consulting with professionals can significantly simplify the process, providing streamlined access to both your Business Number (BN) and Business Identification Number (BIN). These steps comply with legal requirements and prepare your business for successful operations by ensuring all regulatory obligations are met, from federal tax activities to provincial legal transactions.For further assistance, contact us at Ontario Business Central to navigate these processes smoothly. Our team of professionals offers complete assistance, ensuring you can focus more on growing your business.
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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.