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To help simplify and organize taxes for business owners, both the IRS and State taxation agencies have issued tax numbers for businesses. These numbers serve a variety of purposes, from business identification to obtaining grants. At FinancePal, we understand how knowing your business’s tax numbers — and what they mean — can save you time and confusion. That is why we provided this printable, easy-to-digest chart.
|Official Name:||Often referred to as:||Used For?||Looks Like:||How do I register for it?||Where can I find it?|
|Employer Identification Number||EIN; FEIN; TIN; Federal Tax Identification Number||Like a social security number but for a business, you need it to open a bank account, get a loan, and complete many other fundamental tasks for your business. You need this even if you aren't going to have employees.||Two digits, a hyphen, seven digits. 12-3456789||Follow these steps from the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online||On your business tax return or business's Schedule C (part of your individual 1040 return), or possibly under Company Settings in QuickBooks (if you've added it there).|
|Charter Number||- - -||Required for most companies to operate in any state.||Varies by state.||You should be able to fill out a registration form on your Secretary of State's website. The state will issue the business a charter, or business number, used to identify that corporation in that state.||On your Articles of Organization/Certificate of Organization; or search by business name on your Secretary of State's website.|
|State Tax ID Number||Sales Tax ID Number||Used for sales/use tax, corporate income tax, and employer withholding tax.||Varies by state.||Register your business with your State's Department of Revenue. In many states, you can do this on the agency's website. Registration may require you to provide your Federal Tax ID Number. (see above).||State Tax I.D. Number on your sales tax return|
|State Unemployment Tax Number||SUTA||Used for filing state unemployment taxes.||Varies by state.||Contact your State's Department of Labor to register for unemployment insurance. You may be able to register online at the website for your state.||Any correspondence that you receive from your State's Department of Labor should reflect your employer number.|
|Dun & Bradstreet Number||DUNS Number, D-U-N-S Number||This free ID number is required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants. It is also necessary to get a Small Business Administration loan. If you don't have a number and need to get one quickly, there is a paid expedited option.||Nine digits.123456789||This article has some great information and a link to apply for a D-U-N-S number if you don't have one: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/why-your-business-needs-get-duns-number||This link lets you look up a D-U-N-S number: https://www.dnb.com/duns-number.html|
What is an Employer Identification Number?
An Employer Identification Number, variably referred to as an EIN, FEIN, TIN, or Federal Tax Identification Number, is an IRS-designated number used to identify business entities. The Employer Identification Number functions like a Social Security number for businesses and is necessary for fundamental business activities such as securing loans or opening bank accounts.
We recommend that every American business applies for an Employer Identification number, including sole proprietorships.
What is a Charter Number?
The first step to registering a business as a corporation is obtaining a Charter Number — an integral part of corporate entity formation. This number is typically assigned at the state level through the Secretary of State.
What is a State Tax ID Number?
A State Tax ID Number, sometimes called a state EIN (SEIN) or state employer ID, is a unique number used to identify business entities at the state level. This number is used for state-assessed sales or use tax, corporate income tax, and employer withholding tax.
To obtain a State Tax ID Number, register your business with your State’s Department of Revenue. In many states, you can do this on the relevant state agency’s website. Registration may require you to provide your Federal Tax ID Number.
What is a State Unemployment Tax Number?
The State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA) Number is a state-level identification number used for filing state unemployment taxes as a part of the payroll tax filing process.
SUTA can vary depending on the state in which your business is located.
What is a Dun and Bradstreet Number?
The Dun and Bradstreet number is a unique nine-digit identification number. Often referred to as a D-U-N-S (Data Universal Numbering System) Number, the Dun and Bradstreet Number is used to view detailed business data, including corporate relationships, financial health indicators, business biographical information, and a credit file. The D-U-N-S number is newer than the other business tax numbers and was privately developed by its namesake, data management firm Dun and Bradstreet.
The D-U-N-S number is often used as a reference by lenders and investors.
Business Tax Numbers: Payroll vs. Income Tax
It is essential for employers to familiarize themselves with the similarities and differences between payroll taxes and income taxes — and which business numbers to use for each.
For starters, unlike payroll tax, federal income tax is not assessed at a singular flat rate. Instead, it is evaluated on a progressive tax rate.
The main difference between federal income tax and payroll tax is that federal income tax goes to the government’s general fund for public services like defense, education, postal service, and transportation. Payroll taxes fund Social Security and Medicare programs.
In addition to federal payroll tax, employers are also responsible for remitting state payroll and income tax on behalf of their employees. Beneath the federal level, payroll tax rules can differ from state to state.
Organize Your Business Financials with Outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping
Keep your business financials organized by hiring an expert team of accountants and bookkeepers, like the finance professionals at FinancePal. FinancePal’s team is well-versed in startup accounting, small business bookkeeping, optimizing tax savings, and more, with expertise across industries. Experienced accountants can help your business find ways to maintain IRS compliance while adhering to best accounting practices. This is especially important when it comes to withstanding IRS scrutiny in the form of audits. Failed audits can critically damage the financials of any unprepared business.
It’s easy to think of accounting and bookkeeping as necessary evils to keep the IRS off your back. But an experienced financial team can provide essential business insights, find tax and payroll savings, and allow business owners to spend less time stressing over finances and more time running the business. Sign up to get a custom quote for FinancePal’s professional financial services today.