Business numbers

Last updated on January 11, 2024

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) assigns a 9-digit business number (BN) to identify a business, incorporated company or society. The number stays with a business or organization while ever it's doing business or operating. There are no fees or renewal processes.

A business number is required for federal taxes and other government registrations like:

  • WorkSafeBC
  • PST
  • GST
  • Ccorporate income tax, payroll deductions and import/export tax with CRA

Getting a business number

A business number is automatically provided to new B.C. corporations, businesses or societies as part of the registration or incorporation process. Entities such as trusts, names of homes, municipalities, cemetery corporations, joint ventures and entities registered under The Libel & Slander Act, are not included in the automatic registration of a business number.

Program accounts

Some government programs add letters and/or numbers to the business number to identify registration in a specific program. This is called a program account. Here's an example:

123456789 9-digit business number issued by CRA (BN9)
123456789BW0001 Program number for a company registered with WorkSafeBC (BN15)

The following government agencies use the BN15 to identify incorporated businesses: 

  • BC Registries and Online Services
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Payroll and Imports/Exports
  • Liquor Control and Licensing Branch
  • WorkSafeBC
  • BCeID Program

Check with the Canada Revenue Agency...

To find out your business number OR to see if you need one: When you need a business number or Canada Revenue Agency program accounts

If you have a business number but the legal ownership or structure of your business has changed, you may have to register for a new business number. Change your business status with CRA

Ask for help

Contact the BC Registries helpdesk for help Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The registry does not provide business or legal advice.

Toll free: 1 877 526-1526
Victoria: 250 387-7848

Support and services

For additional support with BC Registries filings, visit a Service BC location or call 1-877-370-1033.  Visit Support with BC Registries filings for your service options. Please note that Service BC does not provide legal or financial advice.

Explore business resources and support services from the Small Business Branch or Small Business BC.