We've got your number

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Most people are familiar with labels in clothing and other textile products that name the fabric and explain how to clean it.  But look a little closer and you may spot the prefix RN followed by a series of digits.  If you’re in the textile business, those are important numbers to know.

By law, textile products must include a label that identifies the product’s manufacturer or importer, or another firm marketing, distributing, or otherwise handling the product.  Yes, you can spell out your company name, but lots of businesses choose not to print “Amalgamated Consolidated Interglobal Textile, Inc.” on every label.  Instead, they satisfy this legal requirement by using a Registered Identification Number, known in the industry as an RN.

You don’t have to use an RN to do business.  The RN is simply another way to identify your company on the label.  However, there are some benefits to using one:

  • it lets buyers easily identify and find you by using an RN directory or the online RN look-up service;
  • it makes record-keeping easier and helps you keep track of who’s who in the textile trade; and
  • it usually takes up less space on the label than the company name.

Only one number will be assigned to a company.  Once you have an RN, your company can use that RN for labeling products under the Textile, Wool, and Fur Acts.  An RN may be used only by the business to which it was assigned.  In other words, RNs aren’t transferable or assignable.  By the way, the prefix “RN” is part of the Registered Identification Number and must precede the numerals on the label.

How can a company get an RN?  It’s a snap.  RNs are issued and registered by the FTC and may be given to any firm in the U.S. that manufactures, imports, markets, distributes, or otherwise handles textile, wool, or fur products.  (RNs aren’t issued to businesses outside of the U.S.)  You can apply online by answering a few simple questions.

Once you have your RN, keep your application form current.  If you move or change the name of your business, it’s important to update the information in the RN database.  You can handle that online, too.  Fail to update your info and you run the risk of getting your RN canceled.  An RN also may be canceled if obtained or used improperly.

To keep up on the latest from the FTC of interest to your industry, visit the BCP Business Center’s Clothing and Textiles portal and bookmark the page with RN resources.



That was surprisingly interesting. I think my assumption would be Registered Nurse but I'm from the country and don't get out much. I'm sure PETA and the ASPCA appreciate the calling card. Thanks for enlightening me. I love random tidbits of cool info.

Applied for RN numbers since September 1, have not received any notification as yet.

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