Businesses are generally required to have a tax identification number, also known as an employer identification number or federal employer identification number. Your business tax identification number is one of several types of identifying information included when you submit a Form 1099 to the Internal Revenue Service to report non-employee income.

Tax Identification Number

The Internal Revenue Service requires most businesses to have a tax identification number that the IRS assigns to each business as a unique identifier. Many IRS business tax filings require businesses to include their TIN, and state governments may also require a TIN with state filings.

Form 1099 Information Returns

The IRS issues a variety of forms, known collectively as Form 1099 information returns, for reporting income other than salaries paid to employees. For example, Form 1099-INT is used by banks and other financial institutions to report interest income and Form 1099-Misc is used to report payments from businesses to contractors.

TIN on Form 1099

Form 1099 requires businesses to include their tax identification number, referred to on the form as the employer identification number. Some businesses, such as one-person sole proprietorships, are not required to have an EIN. These businesses use the owner's Social Security number in lieu of an EIN.

Obtaining a TIN

Businesses that need to establish a TIN can apply to have the IRS issue a taxpayer identification number. You can call the IRS at 800-829-4933 to apply, or can apply online or by mail.