Business Number FAQs


Please visit the Manitoba Business Portal for information on starting a business.

 

What is the Business Number?

The Business Number (BN) is a common identifier for businesses to simplify dealings with federal, provincial and municipal governments based on the idea of “one business, one number”. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) generates the BN and provides it to provincial BN partners, which includes Manitoba.

The BN is a 9-digit number, also known as the BN9, that identifies the Business Owner/Legal Entity.

When a business registers/opens certain accounts under the BN9, it creates a BN15 consisting of

  • a 9-digit BN9;
  • a 2-letter Program Area identifier; and
  • a 4-digit sequence number to indicate the number of accounts you have within each program.

 

123456789
9-digit root (BN9)

 

MC
2-letter Program Identifier

 

0001
4-digit sequence number


   

123456789MC0001
Program Account – BN15

   

 

Do I need a Business Number?

Businesses don’t need a Business Number but may need to fulfill a regulatory requirement and seek service from a government agency that is a BN partner. For example:

  • a business may need to register their business name and will be assigned a BN during the process
  • a business may need to open a GST account and will be assigned a BN during the process
  • a business may need to open an RST account and will be assigned a BN during the process
  • a business may need to open a WCB account and will be assigned a BN during the process

Manitoba government agencies/programs that use the BN as an identifier:

 

Do I have to get a Business Number?

If you have no need to seek service from a government agency that issues Business Numbers, you will not get one. In Manitoba, this only occurs if operating a business as a Sole Proprietorship using your own name and

  • have no requirement to open any Canada Revenue Agency accounts (i.e., GST account);
  • have no requirement to open any Manitoba Taxation accounts;
  • have no requirement to open any WCB accounts; and
  • have no requirement to open any City of Winnipeg accounts/licenses/permits.

All other business are required to register with the Companies Office where obtaining a BN occurs during the registration process.

If unsure whether you need to seek service from a government agency and get a BN, please reach out to one of the offices in the Contacts section.

 

How do I get a Business Number?

In Manitoba, if you seek service from a government agency that uses the BN as an identifier, you will get a BN during the registration or application process.

If you seek service from the Canada Revenue Agency, you will get a BN during the registration or application process.


If my business is registered and I have a Business Number, do I automatically have a GST account?

You still need to apply to the Canada Revenue Agency to open a GST account.


If I incorporated a Manitoba company, how do I get a Business Number?

You already have a BN; the Companies Office would have obtained your BN during the incorporation process.

 

If I opened a GST account and have a Business Number from CRA, have I fulfilled all requirements to operate a business in Manitoba?

The Canada Revenue Agency cannot register a Manitoba business name or incorporate a Manitoba business. You need to contact the Manitoba Companies Office for more information.

 

My bank asked me for proof of registration and Business Number in Manitoba. How do I get these?

You will need to register your business name with the Companies Office. Once registered, you will receive proof of registration and a BN letter.

 

Do I get a new 9-digit Business Number (BN9) every time I seek service from a government agency that issues Business Numbers?

  • Assignment of a BN9 is based on business structure.

  • Some business structures get a BN for life and others can get a new one for each business they operate.

The information below covers general rules about Business Numbers and business structure:

  • Sole Proprietors: assigned one BN9; used for all businesses registered or accounts opened.
  • Corporations: assigned one BN9; used for all business names registered or accounts opened.
  • Partnerships: can opt to use the same BN9 for different businesses or get a new one.
  • Trusts: usually assigned one BN9 but it could depend on the type of Trust.
  • Other: usually assigned one BN9; used for all registrations or accounts opened but it might depend on the type; i.e., informal non-profits or joint ventures.

If unsure whether you need to get a BN9, already have a BN9, should use your existing BN9, or if you even need to seek service from a government agency, please reach out to one of the offices in the Contacts section.

 

Understanding the Business Number and Business Structure

Ownership type/business structure is an important decision when setting up your business that creates your Business Number. For more information on business structures, check out our Business Structure article.

 

Who needs to know I have a Business Number?

If you seek service from a government agency that uses the Business Number as an identifier and already have one, you will need to provide your Business Number to avoid creating a duplicate.

 

How much does it cost to get a Business Number?

Obtaining a Business Number is free of charge. If a government agency has a fee for their program’s services, you will have to pay those fee(s).

 

Contacts

For information about how to register or open accounts with government programs that use the Business Number as an identifier, see links below for contact information:

For general information about the Business Number, please contact:

Manitoba Business Links
204-945-0514
Toll Free: 1-866-205-1657
Email: onenumber@gov.mb.ca

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