FEIN - Federal Employer Identification Number

by Ganesh » Mon Sep 03, 2007 06:44 am
Posts: 2
Joined: 03 Sep 2007

Businesses use the FEIN number to identify themselves for tax reporting, banking and other reasons. Just like Social Security Number is specific to a certain person, the FEIN number is also specific to a certain business.

What is a FEIN number?

FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number is also known as Federal Tax Identification Number. This 9 digit code is used by businesses in order to classify and identify them as a tax payer, for banking services and other official and legal purposes. Businesses with no employees and sole proprietorship may use the Social Security number for tax reporting. But for companies with employees must have FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number. For each business owned by the same person, a different FEIN number would be required. It is unique to a business just like Social Security number is unique to an individual.

How to apply for FEIN?

Although an application for FEIN may take weeks to get processed, it is actually very easy to apply for FEIN.

You may collect an SS-4 Form from the office of IRS or the Social Security Office, fill it out and send it to the office of IRS. There is no application fee. Make sure you send it through registered post to guarantee the safe delivery of your form. You can download PDF version of IRS SS-4 form from here.

IRS has launched their interview style application for FEIN where they ask you certain questions online and update their system based on the information that you provide them. There is no form to fill out and there is no lengthy process of waiting for the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) either. If you are using their system of interview style application:
  • You don't need to fill out an SS-4 form and send it to the IRS office anymore
  • You don't have to get into the lengthy process of application for FEIN
  • You must answer the online questionnaire provided by them
  • IRS will then validate the data that you have provided
  • You will receive your EIN number immediately after successful verification

IRS allows you to make an online application.

How to find FEIN number?

If you are looking for the FEIN of a company you may locate it using several different ways. Following are few of the ways you can locate EIN:
  • For public companies you may check out the 10-Ks, 20-Fs and other SEC filings. These companies often print the EIN on the first page of such filings. These SEC filings may be found through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database. It is free of charge.
  • For non-profit organizations you may check Form 990 in order to get the EIN. These organizations often include their EIN on this form that provides financial information and the names of executives of these companies. You may check Guide Star to access the database where you can find the Form 990 of several organizations. This is a free service.
  • Private companies may have it in their company website or the company invoice. You may use the website of KnowX which is a commercial vendor that allows you to search using a FEIN that displays a list of relevant results. You may be required to pay for their services.

Why do you need FEIN?

Following are a few situations when the Federal Employer Identification Number is required:
  • For starting a new business which is not a sole proprietorship
  • Purchase of an ongoing business
  • Any change in the organization type
  • When hiring employees for the first time
  • To create a pension plan in office
  • To form a trust

Can I use FEIN to purchase insurance?

Federal Employer Identification Number works best with businesses and not with purchasing insurance. Insurance companies prefer your Social Security Number rather than your Federal Employer Identification Number.

How is FEIN compared to Social Security Number?

FEIN is used by employers, partnerships, sole proprietors, non-profit organizations, trusts, corporations, estates, government agencies and other business entities. Employers may choose to use either their Social Security Number (SSN) or their FEIN for reporting taxes withheld on behalf of their employees. However, the credit bureaus and credit issuers can tell between SSN and FEIN.

Related Readings

What is a FEIN number?

Total Comments: 127

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 05:02 pm Post Subject: How Can I change my Social Credit Number with EIN number

I registered an EIN number with my social credit number about 4 months ago, can I change it social credit number to my husband's social credit number?


Thanks for your help.

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 04:34 pm Post Subject: FEIN Number

What if i have not hired employees by the date i submitted on my registration? will i still need to file tax forms>

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 05:00 am Post Subject: Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) query

In 2008 we had a babysitter that we reported on our taxes. She now says she needs our FEIN # for unemployment benefits. My filed return doesn't seem to show any FEIN # and if I used my SS# instead, I'm not comfortable giving her that number, even though I want to help her. Any ideas on how I can help her?


Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 09:30 pm Post Subject: Tax number

I want to be able to go to wholesalers and not pay taxes. What form should I fill out?

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 09:24 pm Post Subject: EIN

The IRS (SS4 Form, etc.) uses "EIN", but the IRS does not use "FEIN". Why do you use "FEIN" rather than "EIN"?

Thank you.

Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:48 pm Post Subject:

Can you obtain an ein number if you are not a us resident?
If yes, do you have to pay taxes?

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Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 09:02 am Post Subject: check federal employer identification number

how do i check the federal employer identification number by parties?

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 05:39 pm Post Subject: employers tax id numbers

I need to locate an employers tax id numbers.I have 1 it is 11-3683996 I need the other one necessary to file Federal tax return.Employer name is Roadside Trailer Services 6501 St Clair Ave East St Louis,IL 62203 phone (618)394-1170 They will not EVER return my calls.Is the number I have the Federal number or the State of IL number?Please help! Thank You!!

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 08:28 pm Post Subject: FEIN #


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