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Global Work Glossary

Lost in a maze of global employment jargon? Find your way out with our handy collection of work and HR terminology

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EIN (Employer Identification Number)

What is an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to business entities operating in the United States. This number is used for identifying a business for the purposes of tax reporting.

Purpose and Application

EINs are required for a variety of business activities, including opening a bank account, applying for business licenses, and filing tax returns. They are essential for any business, especially those who plan to hire employees. The EIN is similar to a Social Security number for individuals, but it is used exclusively for business entities.

Obtaining an EIN

Businesses can apply for an EIN through several methods, including online, by fax, or by mail. The IRS provides this service free of charge. The online application process is the fastest way to receive an EIN, and it is available to all entities whose principal business, office, or agency is located in the United States or U.S. Territories.

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