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Knowledge Base

What is an EIN?

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is a unique, nine-digit identification number that the IRS assigns to organizations in order to track their tax accounts and annual returns, much like a Social Security Number is used for individuals.

EINs are also called Federal Tax Identification Numbers or Federal Employer Identification Numbers. Many types of organizations have EINs, including corporations, partnerships, nonprofits, trusts, estates, government agencies, and other business entities.

Nonprofit organizations must get an EIN in order to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status. However, EINs are quick to obtain online.

EINs can be especially useful when searching for a specific organization, especially if it has changed its name, or if several other organizations have similar names.

See also our related Knowledge Base articles:

- How do I start a nonprofit organization?
- Where can I find an organization’s Form 990 or 990-PF?

More articles for starting a nonprofit»

Selected IRS pages below may also be helpful.

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