Ontario Business Number: Definition, Format, Application Process & More (2024)

Starting your own business might be exciting, but it also comes with a lot of administrative and legal work. One such crucial prerequisite that aspiring Ontario business owners need to be aware of is acquiring a Business Number (BN). This in-depth tutorial will explain the importance of a business number, how to determine if you need one, and how to apply for an Ontario business number.

What is the Ontario Business Number?

An Ontario Business Number (BN) is a unique nine-digit identification that is distinct to your business. It facilitates your business’s contacts with the Canadian federal government by giving you access to key government program accounts, such as payroll. Your Ontario Business Number is issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), not the province.

Business Number Vs. Business Identification Number

A business number is not the same as a business identification number (BIN). After registering your business name and obtaining a Business Name Registration, the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services provides you a nine-digit BIN. This number is often used to communicate with the provincial government regarding your firm.

Business Number Vs. HST Number

While BN and HST numbers may have the same digits, their ends and applications differ. A BN is nine digits long, however a HST number is the same nine digits followed by ‘RT 0001’.

When Does a Business Need a BN?

When a business incorporates or opens an account for any CRA program, they must have a BN. The most typical CRA program accounts your company could want are as follows:

  1. GST/HST, if your business collects and remits GST or HST
  2. Payroll deductions, if your business has employees
  3. Corporate tax income, if your business is incorporated
  4. Import/Export, if your business imports or exports goods or services

Even sole proprietors without employees might need a BN.

When Does an Individual Need an Ontario Business Number?

People may occasionally require a business number in Ontario, even if they don’t consider themselves to be company owners. This is usually the case when people hire workers, such nannies or personal assistants. In order to have access to the government’s payroll accounts program, an individual must have a BN in order to place these people on payroll.

The Role of BN in Provincial Programs

The federal CRA systems, including as GST/HST, payroll accounts, corporate tax revenue, and import/export accounts, are the main uses of BNs for firms in Ontario. But BNs are also used by the Ontario Ministry of Labour to identify businesses in Ontario. This implies that in correspondence with the Ministry of Labor, you may identify your company using your BN.

Advantages of Registering for a Business Number in Ontario

By registering for a business number in Ontario, you have access to CRA government programs that let you do a range of business-related activities, including recruiting staff members and marketing your goods or services abroad. It simplifies the management of your CRA accounts by combining all of these applications under a single BN.

Understanding the Format of Business Number Ontario

A BN comprises nine digits and is used in the company’s other CRA numbers with different suffixes. Here are some examples:

  • Business number: 123456789
  • GST/HST number: 123456789 RT 0001
  • Payroll deductions number: 123456789 RP 0002

Locating Your BN in Ontario

By accessing your CRA My Business Account, you may locate your BN or confirm that you have one.

How to Register for a BN in Ontario

Using the CRA’s Business Registration Online (BRO) tool is the easiest approach to register for a Business Number in Ontario. An RC1 form can also be filled out and mailed or faxed to the tax services office that is closest to you.

Final Thoughts

One of the most important steps in starting a business in Ontario is registering for a business number. It’s an easy procedure that gives your company significant opportunities. Make sure it’s on your to-do list as an entrepreneur.

Consult with Incpass Canada‘s legal team to ensure hassle-free incorporation