The easiest way to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is to apply online with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Other ways to file include submitting Form SS-4 by mail or fax. International applicants can also submit EIN applications by phone.
In this guide, we'll explore how to apply for an EIN online through the official IRS website. We'll also discuss the option of using an LLC formation service for a hassle-free experience.
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Using an LLC Formation Service to Get an EIN
If you're looking for a convenient and guided approach to obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business, using an LLC formation service can simplify the process.
These services specialize in assisting businesses with all matters related to forming an LLC. This also includes registered agent services, helping file annual reports, EINs, and more. Here's how you can utilize an LLC formation service to obtain an EIN:
- Research and choose a reputable LLC formation service: Select an LLC formation service that aligns with your business needs and preferences. Consider factors like customer support, pricing, additional services, and ease of use. Some services include EIN filing with their packages.
- Follow the service's application process: Each LLC formation service may have a slightly different process, but generally, you will need to provide information about your business and the responsible party. They will then handle the EIN application on your behalf.
- Receive your EIN: Once the service has successfully obtained your EIN, they will provide it to you along with any related documentation. Make sure to securely store this information for future use.
Using an LLC formation service can simplify the process of obtaining an EIN by providing expert guidance and handling the paperwork on your behalf. It's important to choose a reputable service and carefully follow their instructions for a smooth experience.
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Applying Online for an EIN
The IRS offers a convenient and efficient online application process for obtaining an EIN. Follow these steps to apply online:
- Access the official IRS website and navigate to the EIN application page.
- During the application process, provide accurate information about your business, including the legal name, address, and responsible party details. Double-check the provided information to ensure accuracy.
- Once you have filled out the necessary fields, submit the application electronically.
Upon successful submission, you will receive your EIN instantly. Be sure to save a copy of the confirmation or write down the EIN for future reference.
Applying online for an EIN offers the benefits of speed, convenience, and immediate results. It eliminates the need for paper forms and allows you to complete the process at your own pace.
Apply By Mail or Fax
When it comes to applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through mail or fax, the process requires two simple steps.
- Begin by visiting the IRS website to obtain a copy of Form SS-4.
- Once you've completed the form, you can either fax it to 1-855-641-6935 (US Applicants) or 304-707-9471 (International Applicants) or mail it to the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
If you choose to apply via fax and provide a fax number on your application, you can expect to receive your EIN within approximately four days.
On the other hand, if you decide to mail your application, it typically takes four to five weeks to receive your EIN.
These methods offer alternative options for obtaining an EIN based on your preferred mode of submission.
Apply By Phone (International Applications)
Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by phone is another option available for international applicants.
- Dial the correct phone number: 1-267-941-1099.
- Verify your identity and determine your eligibility for an EIN.
Once your identity is confirmed, the representative will provide you with an EIN over the phone.
This method offers convenience and accessibility for international applicants who may not have access to online or mail/fax application options. The online system will often reject international applicants because of their foreign address or ID.
Helpful Information for How to Get an EIN
Apart from the process of obtaining an EIN, there is additional helpful information to consider.
Benefits of Obtaining an EIN
Obtaining an EIN for your business provides several benefits:
- Legal compliance: EINs are required for businesses with any employees or that operate as a corporation or partnership.
- Business banking: Banks often require an EIN to open a business bank account. Having a separate business account helps you manage your finances and maintain clear distinctions between personal and business funds.
- Employee payroll and taxes: If you plan to hire employees, an EIN is necessary for processing payroll and fulfilling employment tax obligations.
- Business growth opportunities: An EIN allows you to establish credibility and professionalism in your business transactions. It may be required when applying for business loans, obtaining credit, or working with certain suppliers.
Changing or Updating Your EIN
In general, the IRS does not allow a business entity to change or update its Federal Tax ID Number (FEIN). However, certain situations may require you to apply for a new Federal Tax Identification Number:
- Changing the legal structure of your business, such as converting from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or corporation.
- Declaring bankruptcy and reorganizing your business.
- Inheriting an existing business and operating it as a sole proprietorship.
- When instructed to do so by the IRS due to specific circumstances.
It's important to consult with a tax professional or the IRS directly to determine if a new EIN is required in your specific situation.
Misplaced or Lost EIN
If you've misplaced or lost your valid taxpayer identification number, there are several ways to do an EIN lookup:
- Look for the original notice received from the IRS when you obtained your EIN.
- Contact your bank if you have used your EIN to open a business account.
- Refer to any previously filed tax returns that include your EIN.
- Reach out to your business service providers, such as insurance companies or tax professionals, who may have your EIN on file.
- Contact the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line for assistance during business hours.
Understanding Your EIN's Purpose
An EIN serves as a unique identifier for your business and is used for various tax-related and administrative purposes. It is essential for activities such as filing tax returns, paying taxes, hiring employees, establishing business credit, and opening a business bank account.
Simply put, your Employer Identification Number helps the IRS track your business's tax obligations and ensures accurate reporting.
Can I apply for an EIN online?
Yes, the IRS accepts online applications for Employer Identification Numbers (EIN). Applying online is a convenient and efficient way to obtain an EIN for your business.
How do I apply for an EIN online?
To apply for an EIN online, visit the official IRS website and navigate to the EIN application page. Fill out the necessary information about your business, such as the legal name, address, and responsible party details. Once you submit the application, you will receive your EIN instantly.
What if I prefer to use an LLC formation service?
If you prefer a guided and streamlined experience, you can utilize an LLC formation service to obtain an EIN. These services specialize in assisting businesses with legal matters and administrative tasks, including obtaining an EIN. They will guide you through the process and handle the paperwork on your behalf.
Why do I need an EIN for my business?
An EIN is essential for several reasons. It ensures legal compliance, allowing you to meet tax and legal requirements for activities such as filing tax returns and hiring employees.
Additionally, many banks require an EIN to open a business bank account, helping you manage your finances and maintain clear distinctions between personal and business funds.
Can I change my EIN if my business structure changes?
According to the IRS, businesses typically need to apply for a new EIN when changing their business structure or, in the case of sole proprietorships or partnerships, adding or removing owners. This does not apply if you are only changing the name of your business or you declare bankruptcy.
It's recommended to consult with a tax professional or the IRS directly to determine if a new EIN is necessary for your specific situation.
What should I do if I misplace or lose my EIN?
If you've misplaced or lost your EIN, there are several ways to look up an EIN.
Look for the original notice received from the IRS when you obtained your EIN, contact your bank if you used it to open a business account, refer to any previously filed tax returns, or reach out to your business service providers who may have your EIN on file. If all else fails, you can contact the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line for assistance.
Are there any benefits to obtaining an EIN?
Yes. Having an EIN ensures legal compliance when filing income taxes, allows you to open a business bank account and establish business credit, and simplifies payroll and tax processes when you hire employees.
An EIN is a valuable identifier that separates your business and personal finances, helping your LLC avoid piercing the corporate veil.
How does obtaining an EIN as a business owner affect my tax obligations?
Obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is crucial for your business's tax compliance. With an EIN, you can accurately pay and file taxes for your business, ensuring proper reporting and meeting federal tax obligations. It helps distinguish your business entity from personal finances when filing taxes.
Can I use an EIN for my tax deferred pension plan as an individual taxpayer?
No, an EIN, though a nine digit number, is specifically for principal business entities and not applicable for individual taxpayers' tax deferred pension plans. As an individual, you would need to use your personal Social Security Number (SSN) when you pay taxes, including your federal taxes, and tax deferred pension plan contributions and withdrawals.