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 Jan 12, 2010 08:28 pm Post Subject: change in ownership

does a person need to obtain a new EIN when buying an ongoing business fron another individual

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:24 pm Post Subject:

Can you buy a house using your FEIN if it's for your business?

Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 08:06 pm Post Subject: ein

i need to get this # to file my taxes can i get it online

Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 02:18 pm Post Subject: Additional EINs

If a business owner or organization didn't know their previously assigned EIN when opening up a bank account, would it be acceptable to go online and quickly obtain a new EIN to replace the old one, in order to facilitate the opening of the new account? The IRS apparently requires businesses to obtain new EINs for certain reasons, but if one of those reasons isn't present, will obtaining a new EIN create difficulties?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:19 pm Post Subject: is it a scam or not

Priceline Service
7500 Boulders View Dr.
Richmond, VA 23225
I need to know if they have a F.E.I.N number or if they are even registered in the state

Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 03:03 pm Post Subject: federal agencies

do federal agencies have an fein?

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:19 am Post Subject: FEIN

Is it illegal for a company to provide their FEIN to a potential customer?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 05:09 pm Post Subject: FEIN number

Our business has a EIN number. Is this the same or different than a FEIN number?

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 03:56 pm Post Subject: Fein number

I'm a candidate for Alderman. Do I need a fein number to start my campaign organization even though everyone will be volunteering?

Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:58 am Post Subject: fein

does a church need a fein

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