Business Number in Ontario: How to Apply for it in 2023

This is a guide post regarding business number in Ontario. In this post, yuo will learn about the benefits and need of a Ontario business Number.


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    business number in ontario

    In the bustling economic landscape of Ontario, it’s crucial to keep track of the myriad businesses that contribute to its vibrant market. In this aspect, the Business Number (BN) acts as a key component. Acting as a unique fingerprint for businesses in Ontario, the BN is more than just a series of digits – it’s a testament to a company’s legitimacy and its role within the broader economic tapestry of the province. This number not only streamlines administrative procedures but also fosters transparency and accountability in the business ecosystem. 

    This introduction aims to shed light on the meaning, need, benefits, and procedure for registering a business number in Ontario. Whether you’re just embarking on a business journey or have been part of the Ontario commercial scene for years, a deeper understanding of the business numbers in Canada is invaluable.

    What is a Business Number in Ontario (BN)?

    A Business Number (BN) is a special 9-digit number that is issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to firms operating in Canada. This number is used for various federal programs, such as GST/HST, payroll deductions, import/export, and other corporate tax matters. Essentially, it acts as a single point of reference for businesses when interacting with federal, provincial, and municipal governments in Canada.

    When Does a Business Need an Ontario Incorporation Number?

    A business typically needs a business registration number in Ontario when:

    How Do I Apply for a Business Number in Ontario?

    Registering for a business registration number in Ontario is a straightforward process and involves the steps mentioned below:

    • Digitally through the CRA Business Registration Online (BRO) service: This is the quickest way to get your Ontario business number.
    • By Mobile: You can call the CRA at 1-800-959-5525 to register for a business number in Ontario.
    • By Mail or Fax: To request an Ontario business number, you can also complete Form RC1 and mail it or fax it to the closest tax centre.

    Benefits of Registering for an Ontario Business Number

    • Streamlined Interactions: A BN simplifies your dealings with various government programs.
    • Enhanced Credibility: Having a BN can enhance your business’s legitimacy in the eyes of customers and partners.
    • Ease in GST/HST Claims: You are eligible to claim input tax credits if you have been enrolled for GST/HST.
    • Simplified Payroll: Manage employee deductions efficiently.

    Requirements to Apply for Ontario Business Number

    The information required to apply for Ontario business Number are:

    • First Name
    • Last name
    • Date of birth
    • Social insurance number (SIN)
    • Postal code of residential address
    • Registered business name
    • Type of business (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, trust)
    • Name and SIN of owners
    • Phone number
    • Physical address
    • Mailing address (if different from physical address)
    • Description of your major business activity

    Is the business Number is Same as the HST Number?

    The digits of a CRA company number and an HST number are the same, but they finish differently and serve different reasons. A business number consists of nine digits, whereas an HST number consists of the same nine digits followed by the letters RT 0001.

    When an indiviual need a business number in Ontario?

    Although business number in Ontario are typically linked to businesses, there are instances where individuals require BNs as well, even if they do not perceive themselves as business owners. One prevalent scenario is when individuals employ staff members, like a nanny or personal assistant. In order to enroll these employees in the payroll system provided by the government, an individual must possess a business number.

    How do I find my business number in Ontario?

    If you’ve misplaced your BN, you can do the following to find your Ontario business number:

    • Check any official documents from the CRA, such as your GST/HST return.
    • Log into the CRA’s My Business Account portal.
    • Call the CRA directly.

    Is a Ontario Business Number and an Ontario Business Identification Number (BIN) the same?

    No, an Ontario Business Number and an Ontario Business Identification Number are not the same. While the BN is a federal identification number, the BIN is specific to the province of Ontario. The Business Identification Number (BIN) is a 9-digit number given to businesses upon provincial registration in Ontario. It’s used primarily for provincial business matters, such as registering for certain provincial taxes or licenses.


    The Ontario business number anchors businesses in a framework of legitimacy and order within Ontario’s bustling economic tapestry. By offering a unique identifier for each enterprise, the BN assures stakeholders of a business’s authenticity while streamlining administrative dealings. Ontario’s reputation as a commercial powerhouse owes much to systems like these, which simplify complexity and encourage a seamless interface between businesses and regulatory bodies. 


    No, the BN is for all businesses operating in Canada, regardless of the province.

    Sole proprietors might need a BN if they meet any of the criteria like registering for GST/HST or having employees.

    No, registering for a BN with the CRA is free.