What is an EIN or Tax ID Number?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax ID Number, is like a social security number for your business. The EIN allows the IRS to keep track of a business’ tax reporting.

Find out if your business needs an EIN and learn how to get one for free.


Does My Business Need an EIN?

If your business is a sole proprietorship or single-member LLC, and if you don’t have any employees, then you are not required to get an EIN.

If your business is a partnership, a multi-member LLC, or if you do have employees, you will need to get one.

But no matter what kind of business you have, it is usually a good idea to get an EIN. Here are some advantages of having an EIN:

  • Most banks require an EIN in order to open a business banking account.
  • You will need an EIN before you can hire employees.

How to get an EIN for free

The quickest and simplest way to get an EIN is to apply for free online on the IRS website. You will need to answer the following questions:

  • What type of business do you wish to start? (LLC, Sole Proprietorship, Corporation, etc.)
  • How many owners does your business have?
  • In what state is your business located?
  • Why do you wish to start a business?
  • Who will be the “responsible party” or principal officer of the business?

In addition, you will need to fill out the name, SSN or TIN, and contact information of your business’ responsible party.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online


Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999


(855) 641-6935

FEE: Free

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Recommended: Northwest will apply for an EIN on your behalf when you purchase their Deluxe or Premium LLC formation package.

International Applicants

If you don’t have a SSN and you are not a U.S. citizen, you can still get an EIN. Simply download and fill out IRS Form SS-4. You can leave section 7b blank.

To submit your application, call the IRS at 267-941-1099 (NOT a toll-free number) Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.


This phone number is not toll free. We recommend using a web calling service to save money on the call. You should expect to spend up to an hour on the phone before you get your EIN.