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 04, 2007 04:58 am Post Subject: What is a FEIN number?

Hi friend!
Let me try to get you a fair idea of what FEIN is all about!
A FEIN number is a Federal Employer Identification Number. It is often regarded as the Federal Tax Identification Number. It is also regarded as a corporate substitute of your social security number which is also a nine digit number. It is used to report employment taxes. Now, this FEIN is offered to you from the Internal Revenue services Dept. in order to identify you as a valid business entity belonging to the US business industries.

Now, whenever it is meant to be used for identification purposes then it is often termed as a TIN and when it is associated with tax reporting then it is called a EIN. Hope, now there's no more confusion regarding what is fein ! Regards, Fatman

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 06:46 am Post Subject: What is a FEIN number? How is it different from SSN?

Hi .. what is a fein number!
FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number is just the other word for an EIN. EINS are associated with Business organizations, non-profit organizations corporations, agencies etc.

While identifying the tax payers' contributions towards the business returns, this number has a crucial role to play. It is the employers' choice whether they would like to use their EIN or the SSN towards reporting the volume of taxes that have remained pending for their employees.

It is easy for the credit bureaus to demarcate between the SSN & EIN as SSN is associated with one's place of origin & likewise records. Thanks, Juanita

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 07:08 am Post Subject: fein insurance - pour more topics relevant to our industry!

Hi all!

This is good to see some of the vital financial queries are coming up at our forums everyday! But at the same time I also noticed that a majority of them like 'this one' are general finance queries. Therefore I feel the urge to appeal to all of you members to add more queries referring to global insurance !

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 08:38 am Post Subject: what is a fein number ..the different ways..

hi, I have found out that there is a slight difference between the way these EIN & SSN are projected....EIN comes in the form 00-0000000 while the SSN comes in the form 000-00-0000. Incase a businesshouse doesn't have an EIN then it can't file its yearly tax returns. Yeah, for the ownership businesses the SSN is used for the tax purposes instead of the EIN.

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 03:52 pm Post Subject: what is a fein number?

Hi,Ganesh,the fein number stands for the Federal Employer Identification Number. The Office of Business Affairs at the University of Illinois requires that every requester provide their FEIN. if you have some doubts ,you can give us respond.

Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 06:51 pm Post Subject: Federal Employer Identification Number

I don't have employees and I wanted to know if an EIN or FEIN would be suitable for me instead of my social. I don't want to use my social.

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 01:00 pm Post Subject: FEIN fund transfer

Is it illegal to transfer fund from original FEIN Number to different FEIN number? What is proper procedure to transfer?

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:59 pm Post Subject: About FEIN

Hello Everybody

I want to know if i can do business with the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) if i have only the TIN, i have not SSN but if i pay the taxes for a sole propietorship....

Somebody can help me

Thank you

Add your comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.