Federal EIN (FEIN)
The Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) either online or by completing an SS-4 and mailing it in. The IRS requires the business to have a FEIN if the business already has employees, is going to hire employees, has elected to either register as a corporation or partnership (including LLC multimember) or has elected to be taxed as a corporation or S-Corp.
Most government organizations require the business to be identified by an FEIN or if the business is a Sole Proprietorship or LLC (single member) by a Social Security Number (SSN).
Questions? The IRS has a lot of answers on their site IRS.gov or they can be contacted at 800-829-4933
It is important that you register the business with the SC Secretary of State before obtaining an FEIN because you will then have assurance that the business name is available for you to use when you register with the IRS and other South Carolina State, County and Municipal organizations.
If the business is a foreign business (a business that is organized under the laws of another state or country), this step is usually not necessary since the business already has an FEIN from the IRS.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). It is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9".