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Federal Business Number Account


What is a business account number

The Business Number (BN) is a numbering system that simplifies and streamlines the way businesses deal with the federal government. It is based on the idea of one business, one number. Each business requires one BN for its legal entity. A legal entity is defined as a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, trust or other organization.

Note: A sole proprietor that operates more than one business needs only one BN. (If it is the same ownership type)

What is the difference between a BN and a BIN

The Business Number (BN) is a 9-digit business identifier used in Canada to which businesses can register program accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

This number should be used when communicating with the CRA about program accounts you have or wish to register for. For example, if you would like to discuss your GST/HST account or you would like to register for a payroll account, you should quote your BN.

The Business Identification Number (BIN) is a 9-digit number used by the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services to identify provincial business accounts. It also appears on the Ontario Master Business Licence and should be used for communications with the Ontario government about your business.

Format of the BN

The BN is a nine digit business identifier. The Account Number consists of three parts - the BN, the two letter Program Identifier and the four digit reference number. The entire Account Number has 15 characters:

  • Nine digit BN to identify the business; and
  • Two letters and four digits to identify each account a business may have.

In this example, "Business X" wants to register with the CRA for a Business Number, one GST/HST account, and two payroll accounts. The business will receive a:

Business Number 123456789
GST/HST account 123456789 RT 0001
1st payroll account 123456789 RP 0001
2nd payroll account 123456789 RP 0002

Although you can register for several program accounts at one time, each type of program account requires very specific information and must be registered separately. So you should not assume that because you have a BN with a GST/HST account, you automatically have a payroll account.

Different letters are used to identify types of program accounts.

Four major program accounts:

  • RT - GST/HST
  • RP - payroll
  • RC - corporate income tax
  • RM - import/export

Other program accounts:

  • RR - registered charity
  • RD - excise duty
  • RE - excise tax
  • RN - insurance premium tax
  • RG - air travelers security charge
  • RZ - Information Returns

You should set up your computer systems, forms, books and records to handle all 15 characters.



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