Federal business registration

Most businesses must register with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number, and is a unique nine digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to business entities for the purposes of identification. Generally, businesses need an EIN to pay employees and to file business tax returns etc.

NOTE: A sole proprietor without employees, may use their Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer ID Number (ITIN) instead of an EIN. This is the only exception.

Apply for an EIN from the IRS either online, by fax, or by mail. To register online, use the IRS EIN Assistant. For fax or mail, review the IRS instructions for details. 

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

If you are not a resident of the US and do not have, or are not eligible for, a Social Security Number, you might need to get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Similar to the EIN, this ID number allows business owners to comply with US tax laws. Learn more about the ITIN or apply through the IRS.

Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI)

Beginning January 1, 2024, certain companies need to report information about who ultimately owns or controls the company to the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

You need to report this information if your company:

  • Is a Corporation, or
  • Is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or
  • Was created in the United States by filing a document with a secretary of state or any similar office under the law of the state or Indian tribe, or
  • Is a foreign company and was registered to do business in any U.S. state or Indian tribe by such a filing.

When to report?

  • If your company was created or registered before January 1, 2024, you must report by January 1, 2025.
  • If your company was created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2025, you must report within 90 calendar days after receiving actual or public notice that your company’s creation or registration is effective, whichever is earlier.

For more information, visit FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Information website.

Last updated January 22, 2024