Canada Revenue Agency Business Number

Business Number Description

The business number (BN) is a nine-digit number that Canada Revenue Agency will assign to a business (or other organization such as a charity) for tax matters related to business in Canada. Having a BN lets businesses and other organizations simplify their dealings with each other, as well as with all levels of the public sector. The BN is based on the idea that each organization has one number. ISC has partnered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to become the provincial partner responsible for managing the CRA’s business number (BN) program for the province of Saskatchewan.

How does the business number program work?

An account number is a 15-digit number which consists of your unique 9-digit BN to identify your business, two letters to identify the government program, and four digits to identify a specific government account. CRA Business Numbers are linked to entity type. If you will no longer be operating as the same entity type you will be required to close the CRA Business Number associated with the former entity type. This can be done over the phone with CRA by calling 1-800-959-5525 between 8:15 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (EST). All payments and filings will need to be up to date in order to close the Business Number and its associated accounts.

If you provided an email address during your registration, the BN will be sent to the email address within 48 hours. If no email address was provided, the BN will be mailed to the mailing address provided during registration within 10 business days

If you close your business, CRA will keep your BN in active status until all appropriate CRA program accounts (GST, payroll, etc.) are closed. Once your CRA account is clear, CRA will close your BN.

For example, an account number of 123456789SK0001 would represent:

Business Number (BN) 123456789
Government Program SK
Specific Government Account 0001

Business Number Uses

A business number is used by various federal and provincial government organizations. British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and now Saskatchewan, are all provincial BN Partners with the CRA. In addition, the following federal programs require a BN:
  • GST/HST
  • Payroll
  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Import/Export
  • Others
If you decide to register for any one of them, you will need a BN.

Note: There are other types of CRA program accounts that the BN does not yet include.

Benefits of the Business Number Program

  • The BN simplifies your interactions with all levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal) by allowing your information to be safely and securely shared with other participating BN partners, as permitted by law. This reduces the need for re-entering your business information over and over again when completing common registrations.
  • The BN saves you time by providing one easy method of identification so you can spend less time resolving identity issues and receive faster service from government.
  • The BN works to minimize occurrences of mistaken identity which can sometimes be associated with using a business name as an identifier. Your BN provides certainty and consistency for your business and for government.
  • There are no registration or maintenance fees, and no renewal processes associated with the BN. Your business will retain its BN throughout its business life cycle.

Federal Tax Information

The tax information kit will be sent to the mailing address provided during registration. To update the address with CRA you will need to contact them directly at 1-800-959-5525.

Once a business number has been assigned for a new business corporation client, a corporate tax account is also created at Canada Revenue Agency. A tax information package will be mailed out within 45 days after registration. The business corporation will then be required to file corporate income tax within six months after its year end.

Lost Business Number?

Please contact ISC’s Customer Support Team by email at businesssupport@isc.ca. They can retrieve and/or re-send out the BN as needed. Please note, you will be required to verify your authorization by answering some security questions. Third parties operating on behalf of clients requiring a BN will be subject to additional security questions.

Amalgamating a Businesses

When your corporation is involved in an amalgamation, the assignment of the BN resides with the CRA. CRA will provide you with options, and you can either advise CRA that you wish to use an existing BN that is already assigned to one of the corporations involved in the amalgamation or you can choose to have a new BN assigned.

Selling a Business

Any time a corporation is sold the CRA must be contacted with the new director information, including legal name, operating name, addresses, contacts and other information. Typically this is provided through a copy of the amendment submitted to ISC. Once this has been updated then the new directors are able to contact CRA about the corporation including the BN. Both CRA and ISC are not authorized to discuss these matters with non registered directors.

Moving a Business

If you are referring to an entity type other than a business corporation, a new business number is not required. The existing number can be used. If you are referring to a corporation then you will need to have a small change to your business number completed.

When Changing Saskatchewan-Based Business Information the Following Information gets Automatically Changed with CRA

If your company is:

A business corporation, the following changes will be communicated to CRA automatically.
  • Name correction, name revocation, error correction – restore, restore, strike-off, import continuance, discontinuance, amalgamation, arrangement – court order, name change, dissolution, revival, notice of registered office, notice of directors.

A sole proprietor, the following changes will be communicated to CRA automatically.
  • Cancellation, error correction - restore, and expiry.

A partnership, the following changes will be communicated to CRA automatically.
  • Cancellation, error correction – restore, alteration in membership, expiry and dissolution.

A non-profit corporation, the following changes will be communicated to CRA automatically.
  • Error correction – restore, restore, strike-off, discontinuance, dissolution, revival, and notice of registered office.

A co-operative, the following changes will be communicated to CRA automatically.
  • Name correction, name revocation, error correction – restore, restore, strike-off, import continuance, discontinuance, amalgamation, arrangement – court order, name change, dissolution, revival, notice of registered office, notice of directors.