Employer Identification Number (EIN)
What is an EIN number?
An employer identification number (EIN) is a number assigned to businesses by the. It is also known as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or the Federal Tax Identification Number.
How an EIN Works
The EIN is nine digits long, and the format is XX-XXXXXXX. Similar to a Social Security number, the EIN reflects the state in which the company exists, though this rule ceased after 2001.
Companies need to obtain EINs if they have employees, operate as partnerships or corporations, have tax-deferred pension plans, or withhold income taxes for nonresident aliens. Companies that deal with REITs, farms, nonprofit activities or certain trusts may also need EINs.
Companies can apply for EINs online at .gov. Click here for more information.
Why is an EIN Important?
An EIN helps the
EINs are for tax purposes only; they do not replace numbers, authorize a person to work in the United States, or create eligibility for Social Security or other benefits. EINs are not the same as Identification Numbers (TINs). It’s also important to that EINs are for federal tax purposes; states may have additional identification requirements.
There are many ways to find or look up a business entity's EIN. These include:
- Searching for records in EDGAR, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) database. It contains financial reports such as a 10-K Form, a company's annual report to shareholders. The form includes its EIN, as well as other firmographic information.
- The EIN can also be found on a company-issued W-2 Form or 1099 Form. It's listed in box "b" of the form W-2 and on form 1099 beneath the company's name and address.
- An EIN for a nonprofit organization can be found in the IRS Exempt Organizations database.