What is a federal business number and how do I get one?

A business number (BN) is a 9-digit account number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency that identifies your charity, sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation to all levels of government. A business entity is assigned one business number, regardless of the number of locations or companies owned. You need a BN if you incorporate or require a CRA program account including GST/HST, payroll deductions, import-export, corporate income tax or registered charity program accounts. Program account numbers are made up of your business number, the program’s two-letter identifier and a final four-digit reference number.


In many instances, a BN is issued automatically when you register or incorporate your business, or sign up for a CRA program account. You can register or view your business number through the CRA My Business Account. A step-by-step how-to video from the CRA is available here (UPDATE LINK).