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How Can a Small Business Owner Get a Federal Tax ID Number?

Federal Tax ID NumberIf you’re starting a small business, then you are going to need a Federal Tax ID number in order to register with the U.S. government — this will allow you to properly pay taxes. While this may not seem appealing, all businesses are required by law to pay federal and state taxes, and in some cases, local taxes as well. Here’s what you need to know about getting a Federal Tax ID number.

Employer Identification Number

Although it is used to identify you for federal tax purposes, the actual name of the number you will be registering for is the Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can get an EIN from the IRS, and it is easy to apply for one online. Keep in mind you will also need to obtain a state tax identification number for your state, and for that, you will have to contact your state tax office.

Data Universal Numbering System

The Employer Identification Number is not to be confused with the  D&B D-U-N-S® number. The D-U-N-S® number stands for Data Universal Numbering System number, and is a number specially designed by Dun & Bradstreet for categorizing businesses. If you are starting a small business and expect to need credit, then you will want both a D-U-N-S® number and an EIN. The D-U-N-S® number can help other companies, including potential lenders, find and identify you, and, possibly more importantly, you must have a D-U-N-S® number to receive any federal grant money.

Registering Your Business

Be sure to fill out all the necessary paperwork before starting your business. You don’t want to have your inventory stocked, employees hired, advertising done, and be ready to open the doors, only to find out you have to wait several weeks while paperwork is being processed.



Over the last ten years, Craig Berger has written thousands of articles on subjects ranging anywhere from poker to real estate. Concerning finance, Craig has written on subjects such as Credit Monitoring, Credit Scores and Credit Reports for both individuals and businesses, credit cards, mortgage loans, buying gold, debt consolidation and more. Craig has a Masters degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.