What is FEIN?


A Federal Employers Identification Number is the number that IRS uses to identify a business as an employer. If you have employees, regardless of your type of business entity, you will need a FEIN, often shortened to EIN. You use this number to report withholding and just about every other communication with the government.


The EIN is roughly equivalent to a social security number for your business. If you do not have employees, it is optional. It is only required if you have employees or contract workers.


Be aware that as a business you will often be required to give your social security number to customers or suppliers if you do not have an EIN number. If you are an individual working as a sole proprietor for other businesses, you will be asked to provide a W-9 before they will pay you. They use this information to send you a 1099-Misc at the end of the year if they paid you more than $600. The W-9 asks for either a social security number or an EIN. Getting an EIN is free and only takes a few minutes online. It is advisable to get an EIN even if you do not have employees and use that instead of your Social Security number when possible. It will help protect you from identity theft.


Apply for a Federal Employer's Identification Number here.