When Does an LLC Need an EIN?

If your business is an LLC with employees or excise tax liability, then you are required to get an EIN.

If your business is an LLC with more than one member, then you are required to obtain an EIN.

We recommend getting an EIN even if you aren't required to because having an EIN provides several benefits.

You can apply for an EIN with the IRS EIN Assistant for free but you will need to form your LLC before applying for an EIN.

EIN Benefits

Not all LLCs are required to get an EIN but it’s usually a good idea to get one.

Getting an EIN provides these benefits:

  • An EIN can help protect your corporate veil.

  • If you form your business without employees, but then find yourself ready to start hiring, you will already have an EIN.

  • Getting an EIN instead of using your Social Security number (SSN) will keep your SSN private and reduce the risk of identity theft.

  • Most banks require an EIN in order to open a business banking account. A business bank account is required to keep your personal finances and professional finances separate.
  • Although an EIN is not required to apply for all business loans, most lenders prefer a company that has established its business credit through a business bank account and lines of credit associated with the company's EIN.

Read more about the benefits of getting an EIN.

How to Get a Free EIN for Your LLC

Important: LLCs need to be officially registered and approved before getting an EIN.

Use our free Form an LLC guide for help registering your business. The guide also includes free EIN instructions. You can also use an LLC formation service to register your LLC for you.

The quickest and simplest way for taxpayers to get a free EIN is to apply online on the IRS website using the EIN Assistant.

Helpful information to guide you in requesting your EIN number from the IRS EIN Assistant:

  • The IRS’s hours of operation for obtaining your EIN are Monday-Friday from 7 am to 10 pm
  • Only United States and U.S. Territories-based businesses are eligible
  • You must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN) 
  • The entity owner or responsible party may only apply once per day
  • Your application must be filled out in one session and cannot be saved
  • The session will time-out after 15 minutes if not in use
  • You will immediately get an EIN after the form is completed
  • Applications cannot be processed if an EIN was previously obtained online

You can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by fax or mail by completing Form SS-4.

If you are submitting by fax, send your EIN application to fax number (855) 641-6935.

If applying by mail, submit to Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999. 

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

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

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free