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Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) vs Tax Identification Number (TIN) in Canada

The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a standard identifier that provides verified data on legal entities and is registered on a centralized system, the Global LEI System. Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) exist in various forms and are issued to residents and non-residents of Canada. 


Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) in Canada

The LEI is a 20-character alphanumeric code that is based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). LEI number references important information that offers transparency when participating in financial transactions such as trading with stocks, bonds, or forex.

LEI connects to key reference information that enables a clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions on a global scale. Each LEI contains well-structured reference data categorized into 2 sections: Level 1 data – ‘who is who’ and parental (Level 2) data – ‘who owns whom.’

Level 1 data includes entity registration details, such as legal name, number of registration, legal and HQ address, etc. Parental (Level 2) data contains information about an entity’s ownership structure and thus answers the question of ‘who owns whom.’

The publicly available LEI data pool transfers entity registration data into a standardized global directory, which helps to enhance transparency in the global marketplace.

How to get an LEI in Canada? 

An LEI code must be obtained through an LEI service provider, a Local Operating Unit (LOU), or a Registration Agent. The Global LEI System (GLEIS) is designed to encourage competition between LEI issuers and registrators to benefit legal entities seeking to obtain an LEI. Generating a price for issuing and maintaining an LEI has therefore been left to the organizations themselves. This explains why some companies charge double the price of their competitors. 

Where to find LEIs in Canada?

Any interested party can access and search the complete global LEI data pool free of charge. You’ll be able to quickly source information on ‘who is who’ and ‘who owns whom.’

LEI Register – Number one Registration Agent worldwide

LEI Register is an official Registration Agent – we have been helping legal entities apply for, transfer and renew LEI codes since early 2018. We have succeeded in our mission of making the LEI registration process simple, automated, fast, and affordable. At LEI Register, we keep our profit margins low and believe in building long-term business relationships.


Tax Identification Number (TIN) in Canada

TINs exist in Canada in various forms and are issued to residents and non-residents of Canada. 

For Corporations and Partnerships, their tax identification number is a unique nine-digit Business Number (BN) issued by the Canada Revenue Agency. Corporations resident in Canada have income tax reporting obligations and must have a BN. Partnerships required to file a partnership return in Canada or with commercial affairs in Canada must also have a BN.

For trusts, their tax identification number is their eight-digit trust account number preceded by the letter “T” issued by the Canada Revenue Agency. Trusts resident in Canada with income tax reporting obligations must have a trust account number.

How to get a TIN? 

A TIN will be issued to any entity resident in Canada upon request. All Corporations Resident in Canada are required to have a TIN. Trusts and Partnerships with their place of management in Canada must have a TIN if they have income tax reporting obligations in Canada.

Where to find TINs in Canada?

Business Numbers (BNs) are issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in a letter format. They can be found on the front page of a corporation’s income tax return. BNs can also be found on notices of assessment issued by the CRA (see examples below). Note that the 6-digit program account must not be disclosed to a third party for reporting purposes.


Canada TIN (2022) [online]

Available at:  [Accessed 5th April 2022]