ALL ABOUT Employer Identification Numbers (EIN)

An EIN or FEIN is used interchangeably and sometimes also called an employer ID. EIN stands for “Employer Identification Number,” and FEIN stands for “Federal Employer Identification Number.” Federal means that this is not a state ID number. This is the number used and assigned by the IRS, a federal governmental agency. The EIN can also be used at the state level, but it is the IRS that assigns the number. Throughout this article, I will refer to this number as an EIN.

The EIN is for a business what a Social Security Number is for an individual. It is used by the IRS, state governments, and banks among others to identify your business. Businesses need an EIN to file taxes, open a business bank account, and obtain business licenses.

The IRS has simplified the process of obtaining an EIN by permitting electronic registration found here. As stated on the IRS website, you may apply for an EIN online if your principal business, office, agency, or legal residence is located in the U.S. or its Territories. The principal officer must have a valid Social Security Number, EIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. If you are an international applicant, you cannot apply electronically, but you can apply by telephone by calling (267) 941-1099.

Remember that if you are an LLC or a corporation, you can only file for an EIN after forming a legal entity at the state level. If you are sole proprietor or a partnership, you can file for an EIN without the organizational documents. Amending the EIN can be a challenge so be sure to list the correct owner(s) of the business and the correct legal entity if applicable.

If you have any questions about filing an EIN, please give us a call at (202) 630-6546 or email us at

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided for educational and informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not formed by visiting this website, commenting on this post, or submitting information through the Contact Us form. The information provided here is not intended to, and should not replace, advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Kimberly Shin Law Firm PLLC disclaims all liability with regard to any and all actions taken or not taken as a result of information contained here.