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News Releases

October 17, 2012

Provincial and Federal Governments Welcome Winnipeg as First Canadian Municipality to Adopt National Business Number

Common Number to Smooth Services for City Businesses

Released: 3:58 p.m.

WINNIPEG, MB - The governments of Canada and Manitoba are partnering with the City of Winnipeg to introduce the national business number for city programs to reduce red tape for companies, Canada's National Revenue Minister Gail Shea, Manitoba's Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson and Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz announced today.

"I am pleased that Winnipeg is the first municipality to adopt the business number as a common identifier for its programs. This initiative will simplify the way that businesses interact with different levels of government, making it easier for Canadian entrepreneurs to focus on growing the economy and creating jobs," said Minister Shea. "Through the Canada Revenue Agency's partnerships, we now have over 100 federal and provincial programs using the BN as an identifier. That means reduced red tape, which is good news for Canadian businesses and good news for the economy."

"Assigning one number to a business for federal, provincial and municipal programs makes it easier for them to work with different levels of government," said Minister Bjornson. "The business number eliminates the need for a business to manage different identifiers for different programs, reducing red tape for companies. Manitoba remains committed to the concept of 'one business, one number' and we will continue to listen to Manitoba companies and introduce new ways of providing services to make doing business in the province even better."

"Winnipeg is very proud to be positioned as the first municipality in Canada to adopt the business number concept," said Mayor Katz. "This process has proven to be advantageous in other jurisdictions by making it safe, easy and efficient for businesses to complete common registrations, and I'm confident our business community will embrace this new method."

The national business number is a unique, nine-digit number that identifies a business and is assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency. Each program area uses the same root nine-digit number to uniquely identify its program accounts, establishing a common business identity across departments and levels of government.

As electronic government programs continue to develop, the business number can support self service using the Internet. Through a single window, a business could electronically register for multi-jurisdictional programs, or report a change of business address or phone number to different programs, making it easier to do business in Manitoba.

Businesses in Manitoba started using the number in 1995 for federal programs such as the GST and payroll deductions. In 2002, the province invested more than $6.4 million in the database and network infrastructure that connects participating Manitoba programs and the Canada Revenue Agency, allowing the sharing of business identification information.

In 2003, the province began providing the business number to businesses upon registration at the Companies Office and the Manitoba Finance taxation division. In 2009, the federal government amended legislation to allow municipalities to adopt the business number.

The city will begin introducing the business number as early as Spring 2013. For more information on the national business number in Manitoba, visit:

Other initiatives introduced to reduce red tape in Manitoba include AccessManitoba, BizPaL, the BizPaS directory and the Manitoba Business Gateways. See to access these and other programs and services for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Today's announcement was made in honour of Small Business Week in Canada and as part of national business number governance meetings being held in Winnipeg.

Last update: 17.10.2012

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