Does my Business Need an EIN?

You will need to apply for an EIN if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:

1. Will my business have employees?

Before hiring employees, you will need to obtain an EIN, as this number is required for most business and employee tax return documents

2. Do I want to form my business as a corporation, partnership, or multi-member LLC?

An EIN functions similarly to an SSN, but instead of identifying individuals, it is used by the IRS to keep track of legal entities and their tax returns. If your business is a sole-proprietorship, you can use your SSN on your annual return. Otherwise, you will need an EIN to complete your annual filing.

3. Do I want to open a business checking account?

Before establishing a business bank account, opening a line of business credit, or applying for a small business loan, you will need an EIN to verify that you have registered your business with the IRS.

Unlike other steps involved in business formation, getting an EIN is both easy and free, so it might not be a bad idea to get one just in case you think you might want to have one later on.

How do I Get an EIN?

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

  • Your SSN or an alternative Taxpayer ID number (TIN or EIN)
  • The type of business entity you are getting the EIN for (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, LLC, Estate, Trust, Non-Profit Organization, etc.)
  • Basic business info (name of CEO / company member(s) and business address)

Other ways to get your EIN include fax, mail, and phone applications. For both fax and mail applications, you will need to fill out an SS-4 form and submit it to the IRS. Further instructions can be found on the first page of the form.

To apply for an EIN by phone, simply call 1-800 829-4933 anytime between 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. and answer the questions the agent asks you about your business. You will receive your EIN at the end of the call.