The business number (BN) is a unique number assigned to a company by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Business owners use this number to identify their company when in contact with any federal, provincial or local government program.
The business number consists of two parts - the business number and the program account identifier. The entire number has 15 characters:
9 digits to identify the business and
6 letters for the program account
When a BC company is first incorporated CRA assigns it the 9-digit business number. Then, when the company registers for their GST/HST, PST or WorkSafeBC accounts, an additional 6 characters are added to the number. This creates a unique identifier of 15 characters.
Business number issued by CRA (BN9): 123456789
Company incorporated in BC (BN15): 123456789 BC0001
Company registers with WorkSafeBC (BN15): 123456789 BW0001
Beginning November 2004, when you complete a transaction that creates a new company, the business number is assigned automatically through Corporate Online and mailed to you.
Company business numbers are now stored in a central location. BC Partners including WorkSafeBC and Ministry of Finance are able to access this information. This facilitates the assignment of coverage with WorkSafeBC, PST, or GST/HST, corporate income tax, payroll deductions or import/export tax with CRA.