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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 Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a tax identification number that consists of nine digits. The IRS will assign this to corporations, partnerships, and multi-member LLCs operating in the United States so they can be identified when completing particular actions.

Businesses most often apply for EINs when they are forming or hiring employees. They also need them to file tax returns, apply for loans, or open new business bank accounts.

To get an EIN, you have to complete the Application for Employer Identification Number, known as IRS Form SS-4. Here, you’ll provide key information about your business, such as its legal name, trade name (if applicable), and business structure. After completing the free application, you’ll usually get your EIN within a few business days and you’ll be able to start using it immediately.

Businesses with only one employee don’t need an EIN. Instead, they’ll be able to use their social security numbers (SSN) to complete business-related tasks.

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