Obtaining a Business Number in Canada: Procedure & Purpose

A business number in Canada is a unique identification for Canadian enterprises, legal entities, and non-profit organizations. It is made up of nine unique numbers assigned to each firm by the Canada Revenue Agency for tax purposes.


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    Table of Contents

    How to get a Business Number in Canada?

    Understanding how to obtain a business number in Canada is not as difficult as one may believe. This means you may launch your own company quickly and simply. You simply need to gain formal government recognition by registering your firm with the appropriate institutions.

    The cost of obtaining a name and a business 

    business number in canada

    number in Canada is determined by the income and size of the organization. Understanding the many phases needed might assist you in launching your business and overcoming any challenges.

    What is a business number in Canada?

    A business number (BN) is a unique identification for Canadian enterprises, legal entities, and non-profit organizations. It is made up of nine unique numbers assigned to each firm by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax purposes.

    The number serves as a tax ID and allows enterprises registered in Canada to simplify their operations while dealing with federal, provincial, and local administrations. When submitting income taxes, corporation taxes, payroll deductions, excise charges, and processing export and import accounts, a company number can be useful.

    When seeking permits, licenses, and workers’ compensation, several provincial governments also require firms to obtain a business number in Canada.

    What is the Purpose of Business Number in Canada?

    • Tax Identification Number: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can the business number in Canada to more easily track and handle tax-related data, including income tax, Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), and payroll deductions since it gives enterprises and organizations a special identification number.
    • Relations with the Government: In order to facilitate business access to government services, the BN is utilized when communicating with numerous departments and agencies at various levels of government (federal, provincial, and territorial).
    • Commercial Designation: It gives firms across Canada a uniform and reliable identity, which eliminates confusion and ensures the correctness of commercial transactions.
    • Financial Exchanges: The business number in Canada is frequently required by financial organizations in order to create bank accounts, submit loan applications, or carry out other financial operations. It assists in confirming a company’s legitimacy and financial history.
    • Penalty Reduction: To prevent fines and legal repercussions related to tax avoidance or non-compliance, it is crucial to have a legitimate business number in Canada and use it properly.

    Procedure for Obtaining a Business Number in Canada

    Depending on where you intend to establish your firm, several procedures must be followed to obtain a business number in Canada. With the exception of Quebec, the requirements for BN registration are the same in all provinces and territories.

    When registering your business, you must supply the following information:

    • The names of the proprietors
    • Kind of enterprise
    • Each owner’s social security number and line of work
    • The brand name
    • Contact details
    • The location where your business is located
    • Details of your major business activity
    • A forecast of anticipated sales
    • Your desired business name, if it is legal

    In Canada, starting a business is simple. The province’s website for business registration offers mail, phone, fax, and internet registration options.

    Registering over the phone

    • Contact the CRA business queries line at 1-800-959-5525 during business hours to download and print the RC1 form.
    • Respond to each question on the RC1 form.

    Using a fax or letter to register

    • Go to the CRA website to get the RC1 form.
    • Print the form, then complete your information.
    • Send the completed RC1 form to your local CRA office or tax center through mail or fax.

    Canadian Business Name Registration

    You must register your business name after you get your company number. Except for sole proprietorships, all Canadian firms are obliged to register their names. You are not permitted to use a name that is already being used by another organization. You must choose a distinctive name that accurately describes the goods or services you are providing.

    Finding existing businesses registered under the same name is made simpler by using internet search engines that locate unique business names. You might even hire a supplier from a different party to conduct the search on your behalf.

    Once you’ve decided on the name you want for your company, paid the necessary registration fees, and received a Master Business License (MBL). You can see the registration and expiration dates on the MBL paperwork to find out when to renew your registration. Your MBL may be used for a variety of transactions, including creating bank accounts and conducting business.

    Which Canadian companies must register?

    Not all Canadian companies must register. Sole proprietorships are an exception to the rule and are permitted to operate lawfully without registration.

    Sole proprietorships and partnerships are exempt from registering their business names or requesting business numbers in some jurisdictions, such as Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Additional criteria for exemption include:

    • You are the only worker.
    • Over the past 12 months, your total revenues before costs have been less than $30,000.
    • You don’t deal in the importing or exportation of items in your firm.


    The Business Number in Canada is essential for streamlining administrative procedures and fostering openness in the commercial environment. It acts as a distinctive identity for companies and streamlines communications with multiple government entities, improving compliance and reporting. Getting a BN is a crucial step in starting and operating a business in Canada, whether you’re a sole proprietor, corporation, or partnership. 

    To get a business Number in Canada, Consult with OnDemand International. Their expert team will provide you with the necessary knowledge regarding how to get the business number in Canada.


    No, a CRA number and a business number are not the same. But when submitting other tax returns, including those for payroll deductions, import/export reports, and corporate income tax, a company number is included in the CRA number.

    A CRA number has three sections that together make up a combination of 15 letters and numbers, as opposed to a business number’s nine digits. The nine-digit business number is the first component of the CRA number, and the two-letter identification code is the second component. A four-digit reference number makes up the last component.

    The province or region where you wish to register your business as well as the kind of enterprise you plan to run will determine how much it will cost. The price ranges from $80 to $200, making it affordable for the majority of ambitious business owners.

    It costs nothing to register for a business number. There aren’t any yearly costs or upkeep needs.

    A program account is a two-letter, four-digit number associated with your Business Number. It is used to track your involvement in certain government programs, such as GST/HST or payroll deduction.