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Business number collection at CIPO

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

On July 15, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will begin collecting clients' business number via online interactions with our Client Service Centre.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has mandated this change. Its directive aims to ensure departments and agencies use the business number as the standard identifier for all transactions between businesses and the Government of Canada.

A business number is a 9-digit account number issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that identifies your business to federal, provincial and municipal governments. If you need help finding your business number, visit the CRA website.

As a first phase, CIPO will be collecting the business number on general enquiry online forms located on our contact page, including the ordering of intellectual property documents and certified copies. Later this summer, we will expand the collection to telephone and in-person enquiries.

While the business number field on the general enquiries online forms is optional, we ask agents and their staff to provide the firm's business number on all online requests. 

We will not be requesting your business number through patent, trademark and/or industrial design online forms until we have new IT systems in place.

While it is mandatory for CIPO to ask for your business number, it is your choice whether to provide it.

Over time, business number collection will help increase service speed and efficiency, and improve program integrity for the Government of Canada. As it becomes implemented more widely, it will simplify government services by letting clients tell us once who they are, leading to improvements like prepopulated forms and bundled service delivery.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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