How To Get A State Employer Identification Number

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Become on of the registered California businesses that hires Californians. Get a State Employer Identification Number.

California wants to know the businesses that do business and hire employees in the state. Employers that build up their employee workforce need to start by getting a State Employer Identification Number given out by the state Employment Development Department (EDD).

The state government can trust the business when it hires new employees and files payroll deductions.

1. Get the Registration Form for Commercial Employers (DE-1) from the EDD. All types of employers join the ranks of the registered businesses that have a eight digit State EIN (SEIN). There are different versions of Form DE-1 for the different types:

  • Commercial Employers, Pacific Maritime, and Fishing Boats (DE-1)
  • Agricultural (DE 1AG)
  • Governmental Organizations, Public Schools, & Indian Tribes (DE 1GS)
  • Nonprofit Employers (DE 1NP)
  • Personal Income Tax Withholding Only (DE 1P)
  • Employer of Household Workers (DE 1HW)

The easiest way to apply is to simply fill out an application online at e-Services for Business, but if a form that can be printed and saved is preferred, the form can be downloaded from the EDD website,, or ordered on the site, An employer can also get a form by calling the EDD or visiting the nearest Employment Tax Office.

2. Get a federal EIN from the IRS. A business has to tell the California EDD their federal EIN on the state's registration form. The application form for an EIN is available online at the IRS.

3. Collect the information needed to fill out the form. Look over the form to see all the information needed to fill it out. Collect everything together, records and papers, before starting the form. The people who own or manage and control the business will have to use their name, title, social security number, and drivers license number, or give the information to the person who fills out the form.

Most the information is basic information that is easily remembered or readily found on record. The information on business name, location address, and the date operations began is a good place to start.

4. Fill out the form. Make sure to fill in all the spaces clearly. A missing or unreadable address will leave the EDD without an address to send the number to.

Remember to put the federal EIN on the form. The state uses it to make sure federal unemployment taxes match up.

The owner or manager, or a business officer, signs the form.

Or, type in the information online at e-Services for Business, The SEIN number is given out online after the information is complete.

5. Send in the form. The quicker the form goes in to the state EDD office in Sacramento, the quicker the business gets its SEIN. Mail the form in, or fax it in.

A quick way to get the SEIN is to call the Tele-Reg service. The SEIN number is given over the phone. Have the filled out form on hand.

6. Start using the eight digit SEIN. The EDD mails the number to the business. Applicants that use e-Services for Business or call in the information will already have the number and just need to wait to receive their employer packet. All applicants get the packet.

Use the number on all returns and correspondence with the EDD.


Governor Edmund J. Brown, Before the First Time Employee Starts Work (January 2011).

California EMployment Development Department, Registration Form for Commercial Employers (DE-1) (January 2011).