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Your Idaho business will be required to identify itself on tax forms and licenses by either of two numbers: your social security number or a federal employer identification number (called FEIN or more often EIN).

So, proprietors can use either number, your choice, except in situations where you must get an Idaho EIN. You must get an EIN if:

  1. You hire employees
  2. Your Idaho business is a partnership corporation. Or LLC.
  3. You are required to file a federal excise tax return (covered in the taxes chapter).
  4. You set up a qualified retirement plan (covered in the taxes chapter).
  5. You purchase or inherit an existing business.
  6. Your state or other government agency, a vendor or customer, your bank, or your insurance company requires you to have an EIN.

As you can see, although the federal identification number is called an “employer” identification number, the EIN is used by any Idaho business that needs a federal ID number, whether the Idaho business has employees or not.

Many sole proprietors get EINs even when not required because the sole proprietors do not want to give out their social security numbers to customers and vendors.

  • You get one EIN per business, even if the Idaho business has more than one location.
  • You keep the same EIN for as long as you own the Idaho business, even if you move.
  • If you have more than one unrelated Idaho business, you should have separate EINS for each Idaho business.