If you lost the reference to the object, it would be like Pradeep mentioned. But there's another interesting way you can 'lose' the reference. When a SFSB timeout occurs. The client still has a valid handle (there's no way to invalidate this handle in a distributed fashion for the container). When an attempt is made to obtain the object from the handle, an exception will be thrown. This is not applicable to SLSB, as they are not client-specific, and the container may create an extra instance for you just in case.