How to apply for an EIN

How to apply for an EIN

If you’ve recently started your own small business, you’ve likely seen the term EIN on various paperwork and application forms.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), otherwise known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is an important tool that the IRS uses to verify and keep track of businesses. It’s also an incredibly helpful way to verify the legitimacy of your business when performing activities like starting a business bank account or applying for a business license.

If you’re looking to get an employer ID number for your business, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step in our guide on how to apply for an EIN.

How do you apply for an EIN number

Before you even start asking, how do I apply for an EIN, it’s important to first ask, do I need an EIN?

The IRS lays out some guidelines for what kind of companies need an EIN to file their tax returns. This includes any business entity type that:

  • Have employees
  • Operate as a corporation or a partnership
  • File a tax return for employment; excise; or alcohol, tobacco, and firearms
  • Have a tax-deferred pension plan
  • Are involved in trusts, IRAs, estates, real estate mortgage, non-profits, farmer’s cooperatives, or plan administrators  

This list covers most businesses except certain sole proprietorships, which have the choice of whether or not to file for an EIN. If they choose not to, they are given the option to use their social security number (SSN) in its place.

What you need in order to apply for an EIN

To apply for an EIN, all you will need is Form SS-4. This IRS form will require you to able to answer basic questions about your business, such as:

  • Name and TIN of the responsible party  
  • Business entity type
  • Reason for applying for an EIN

For a full list of information required on Form SS-4, you can visit the IRS website.  

Ways to apply for a new EIN

The IRS instructions offer a number of different ways for people to apply for an employer ID number:

  • Online – Applying for an EIN online is the quickest and most convenient way to get your EIN issuance. All you have to do is fill out an online EIN application, which must be completed in one sitting. After completing the online application, the information you entered will be verified during the session and you will immediately receive your EIN.
  • By Fax – In order to apply for an EIN by fax, applicants must fill out IRS Form SS-4 with all of their business’ information and fax it to the appropriate IRS fax number. Upon receipt, the application will be verified and an EIN number will be sent back via fax within four business days.
  • By Mail – To apply by mail, applicants must send their completed SS-4 form to the appropriate service center. Once the information for this application can be verified, an EIN number will be sent back in the mail. The turnaround time for applications received by mail is approximately four weeks.
  • By Phone – Phone EIN applications are reserved for businesses whose primary business entity is located outside of the U.S. To receive an EIN number over the phone, the person making the call must either be authorized personnel or have received third-party designation via an SS-4 form.  

Important things to keep in mind when applying for an EIN

When applying for an EIN, there are some other important things to keep in mind:

  • Daily Limitation – The IRS limits responsible parties to receiving one EIN per day online, by fax, or by mail.
  • Responsible Party – The party responsible for receiving the EIN must disclose their name and Taxpayer Identification Number. The responsible party must be an individual and not an entity unless the applicant is a government entity.
  • Third-Party Authorization – If you wish for your EIN to be given out to someone besides the principal taxpayer responsible for the business, the Third Party Designee section on Form SS-4 must be filled out, signed by the taxpayer, and mailed to the IRS.

Apply from home

We understand how inconvenient and time-consuming government applications can be, especially for a small business owner. That’s why it’s our mission to make applying for a new government ID, or a new EIN, as quick and as easy as possible.

We help you avoid the trip to a government office or wait in any long lines by sending you everything you need right to your own home. All you have to do is visit our website and apply for an EIN using our easy-to-use platform.

Plus, we have a friendly and fast-working team of customer representatives that can help walk you through every step of the process and won’t leave you waiting for hours on hold. You can also find information and answers to questions like “how to find an EIN number,” “is TIN the same as EIN” and “what is an EIN number used for” on our website as well.

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