How to Apply for a Tax ID (EIN) Number
If you operate a business the IRS may require you to obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN), which is also known as your business tax ID number. The number allows the IRS to identify your business and requires you to provide it on all tax documents and forms. Below are three steps for obtaining your EIN number.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
If your business employs workers, withholds taxes on the wages and salaries it pays or you operate the business as a corporation or partnership, the IRS requires you to obtain an EIN. If you operate a sole proprietorship, you can obtain an EIN and use it in the same way even though it’s only required if you have employees.
You may apply for an EIN online if your principal business is located in the United States or U.S. Territories. The person applying online must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN) and you are limited to one EIN per responsible party per day.
Step 2: Understand the Online Application
You can apply for your EIN by fax, phone or mail; however, the IRS prefers that you submit your application online. When you do, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the short application.
The first question requires you to select the type of EIN you are applying for (sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC, partnership or estate). You then to choose the option that best describes why you are applying. The online questionnaire then requests your name and Social Security number before you can finish your application.
You must complete this application in one session, as you will not be able to save and return at a later time. Your session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity, and you will need to start over.
Step 3: Submit Your Application
After all validations are done you will get your EIN immediately upon completion. You can download, save, and print your EIN confirmation notice.
- If you lose your EIN you can always call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933.
- Once you finalize your application and are assigned an EIN, the number can never be canceled. However, if you find that you don’t need the EIN, the IRS can close your business account, but the EIN remains available to you if you ever need it in the future; it will not be reassigned.