Verifying the identity of a corporation is an important part of our due diligence under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).It needs to be completed within 30 days of receipt of an application.
Below are tips for gathering all the information required to verify the identity of a corporation.
Some words in a company name may appear abbreviated. Reference the appropriate forms to confirm the exact, official corporate name (e.g. Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incumbency). Be sure to note:
- Company / Co.; Companies / Cos.
- Corporation or Corp.
- Incorporated or Inc.
- Limited or Ltd.
- Registered or Reg.
- District or Dist.
- And or &
- Periods or no periods or spaces after initials in the company name. Examples: A.B.C. Company or ABC Company or A B C Company
- Pluralization. Examples: “Holding” or “Holdings”; “Service” or “Services
Place of incorporation
Correctly identify the province/territory (or state, if applicable). Search engines are province/territory-dependent and searching the incorrect province or territory will result in a failed search.
Corporate Registration Number
Every company is provided a “Business Number (BN)”, which is a common identifier between a province’s or territory’s corporate registry, the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This unique 15-digit BN is assigned by the CRA and includes nine digits to identify the employer, two letters to identify the government program, and four digits to identify a specific account.
For example: Company X” wants to register with the CRA for a Business Number, one GST/HST account, a WCB account and one payroll account. The company will receive a:
- Business Number: 12345 6789
- GST/HST account: 12345 6789 RT 0001
- WCB account: 12345 6789 NW 0001
- Payroll account: 12345 6789 RP 0001
For search purposes, provinces/territories may also provide a corporation with a ‘reference number’ to be used in place of the unique 15-digit BN. Corporate Registration Numbers may differ by province/territory or if federally incorporated. Please refer to the province-specific information noted below:
9 or 10 digits; Generally starts with the number “2”; may be referred to as the Corporate Access Number. e.g.: 2123456789
7 digits; Generally starts with letters “BC”, often followed by a zero “0”; may be referred to as the Incorporation Number. e.g.: BC0123456
9 digits; Often followed by ‘MC0001’; may be referred to as Business Number. e.g.: 123456789MC0001
6 digits; May be referred to as the Reference Number (assigned by the NB Corporate Registry Branch). e.g.: 123456.
Note: A unique 15 digit NB Account Business Number is assigned in conjunction with the CRA, and will not be displayed in corporate search documentation. The 6-digit Reference Number should be captured for VOI/corporate search purposes.
Newfoundland and Labrador
5 digits; May be referred to as Company Number. e.g.: 12345
7 digits; May be referred to as Registry ID. e.g.: 1234567
7 – 9 digits; May be referred to as a Registry ID number
7 digits; May be referred to as Registry ID
9 digits; zeros could precede number; may be referred to as Ontario Corporation Number (OCN). e.g.: 001234567
Prince Edward Island
3 – 5 digits; May be referred to as Registration Number.
Note: Can also search on date of registration.
10 digits; May be referred to as Quebec Enterprise Number (NEQ). The first two digits indicate the type of enterprise: '11' for legal persons, '22' for sole proprietorships, and '33' for partnerships, associations and other groups. e.g.:1141234567.
Note: Nnumbered companies may not automatically have the same Corporate Registration Number
6 – 9 digits; May be referred to as an Entity Number.
5 digits; May be referred to as Corporate Access Number
A “BN/Registration Number” is used.It generally contains 9 digits, followed by ‘RR00X’ where ‘X’ is a number. e.g.: 123456789RR001
7 digits; May be preceded by one or more zeros; and may be followed by a letter D, M or R at the end of the number e.g.: 1234567R.
Note: often the 7-digit Corporate Registration Number is followed by a BN # containing 9 digits, then ending in ‘RC00X’, where ‘X’ is a number. The BN # is a Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Business Number (assigned by CCRA). Example: BN#123456789RC001
Dependent upon the state. Be sure to include state of incorporation.
Address of company (Optional, but valuable)
Full address of company, including street name, city, province/territory (state, if applicable), and postal code (zip code, if applicable). If an address is available, it will assist in an internet search if the company name / corporation number cannot be found.