Government of Nova
novascotia.caGovernment of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada
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One Business - One Number

In an effort to simplify a business' interaction with government, Nova Scotia has adopted the Business Number (BN) as the number to be used to identify a business.  The BN is assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency.  Since the BN is unique to each business, it will eliminate the need for a different number for every government program and service. For business persons, the One Business – One Number approach means:

  • Fewer numbers to remember
  • Less need to enter basic company information over and over
  • Simpler, more convenient access to government services

Right now, the BN is being used for various government services in Nova Scotia, including licences, permits, registrations, Workers' Compensation Board insurance, in addition to the Canada Revenue Agency programs (payroll deductions, GST/HST, corporate income tax and import/export accounts).

As our use of the BN is expanded, it will replace many numbers currently used by different government programs to identify the same business.

The Nova Scotia Business Registry

The Nova Scotia Business Registry was created under the Business Electronic Filing Act and facilitates the use of the BN through a partnership among Service Nova Scotia, the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and the Canada Revenue Agency.

How do I get a BN?

The BN is provided to a business in Nova Scotia when it is registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies.  The Canada Revenue Agency administers the BN, and more information about their BN programs can be found at

How does it work?

The Nova Scotia BN is made up of 15-character identifier, which is referred to as the BN15. It includes the 9-digit number (BN9) assigned by CRA, a 2-character program identifier (identifying the program for which the business is registered), and a 4-digit account sequence number.

Account Name CRA Root BN Identifier Program Sequence Account Number
Nova Scotia Registration 123456789 NS 0001

This same number is used for various licensing, permitting, registration, and certification programs under other legislation in accordance with the Business Electronic Filing Act Regulations.