An EIN or federal tax ID is a unique 9-digit number assigned to a business by the IRS. An EIN allows the IRS, banks, credit card companies, and other institutions to track your business and personal finances separately. You need an EIN to file business taxes, hire employees, and open a business bank account. Taxpayer Identification Number and Employer Identification Number are defined as a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to organizations. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers who are required to file various business tax returns.

  • The only kind of business that does not require getting an EIN is a sole proprietorship with no employees.
  • If you believe someone is using your business name or EIN to file tax returns or tax forms, make sure you contact the IRS immediately to file a business identity theft case.
  • For example, an EIN should not be used in tax lien auction or sales, lotteries, or for any other purposes not related to tax administration.
  • If you have reviewed IRS guidelines for when you need an EIN and are still unsure, it’s wise to talk with an accounting professional to determine what is required of your business.

Each Employer Identification Number must designate a “responsible party” who must be an individual, not a business entity. The responsible party is the person who ultimately owns or controls the entity or who exercises ultimate effective control over the entity. And importantly, all EIN applications must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor. This article is for entrepreneurs and small business owners who need information about acquiring a federal tax identification number. According to the IRS, a federal tax ID number is used to identify a business. There are many reasons why a business may need one, including paying employees, claiming benefits and filing and paying taxes.

What if I’m not sure I need a FEIN?

Numerous callers each year contact this Department inquiring about a “Tax ID Number” and what agency specifically issues it. Often the reason why people need the identification number is because they have been advised by a bank that no account will be opened without it, even if it is requested by a non-profit organization. I’m sorry we can’t provide 1 on 1 assistance with getting an EIN but you can use the link in the article above to apply for free at A new LLC with one owner is formed under state law and chooses to be taxed as a corporation or an S corporation.

How do I get an EIN from abroad?

International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN. The person making the call must be authorized to receive the EIN and answer questions concerning the Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification NumberPDF.

The team is based in San Francisco, but has collaborators all over the country. The easiest way to get an Employer Identification Number for your business is to apply online free at using the EIN Assistant. If you don’t want to apply for your EIN online, you can download Form SS-4 and send it to the IRS by mail or fax. There are also private companies that help businesses apply for an EIN for a fee. A business may need one or more state employer identification numbers .

What Do I Do with my EIN?

In addition the online session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity, and you’ll have to start over, so plan for some uninterrupted time to complete this task. And even though it is an online application, you must complete it during the hours of 7 a.m. There are even a few business credit cards that don’t require a personal credit check, though most do.


You can complete the application online on the IRS website at The online system will guide you through the required questions step-by-step but there are a few caveats you should understand before you start. If you use a law firm or other professional service to incorporate your business, they may take care of this task for you and may or may not charge for that service. Just keep in mind that you applying for an EIN is a simple process for most business owners, and you can do it for free on the IRS website.

How to apply for Employer Identification Number?

EINs are commonly used by employers for the purpose of reporting taxes. The number is made up of nine digits and is formatted as XX-XXXXXXX. Businesses can apply for EINs directly through the IRS, which usually issues them immediately. Before applying for an EIN, it is always preferred to check whether the affected organization has been formed legally or not. Almost all organizations that apply for EINs can have their tax-exempt status automatically revoked if they have failed to file a necessary return or notice for a period of three years consecutively. Such a three-year period begins when the organization is legally formed; it is best to form the organization legally before applying for an EIN.

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  • As a stand alone service, or is included in our Complete Incorporation Service package.
  • Although many entities use their FEINs to report their taxes and other financial information to the IRS and other government entities, it is public information.
  • A corporation receives a new charter from the secretary of state.