Small Business Tips

How Do I Get an EIN Number for My Business?

Hannah Rau
January 20, 2024
min read

Maintaining a clear boundary between your personal and business lives is important for any business owner. One of the best ways to achieve this is to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).  The latter not only keeps your Social Security Numbers private but also adds legitimacy to your business. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of obtaining an EIN for your business and discover the compelling reasons why having one is a smart move for any business owner. 

But first, let’s find out what exactly EIN is!

What is an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit identifier assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses and other entities operating in the United States. Often referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN), the EIN is used for tax purposes and helps distinguish one business from another.

Similar to how a Social Security Number (SSN) is associated with individuals, an EIN provides a distinct reference for businesses. This number is crucial for various financial and legal transactions, including filing taxes, opening business bank accounts, and hiring employees. Essentially, the EIN serves as a business's official identifier, fostering transparency and compliance with tax regulations.

10 Reasons Why You Need an EIN

  1. Tax identification: An EIN is essential for tax purposes, allowing your business to file tax returns and meet IRS obligations accurately.
  1. Legal requirement: Many businesses are required to have an EIN, especially if they have employees or operate as a corporation or partnership.
  1. Opening business bank accounts: Banks often require an EIN to open a business bank account, helping to separate personal and business finances.
  1. Hiring employees: If you plan to hire employees, you need an EIN for various employment tax purposes and reporting.
  1. Business credit: Establishing business credit is facilitated by having an EIN, allowing your business to access loans and credit cards.
  1. Avoiding using SSN: An EIN helps protect your personal Social Security Number (SSN) by serving as the primary identifier for your business.
  1. Legal structure changes: If your business undergoes changes in legal structure, such as becoming a corporation or partnership, you'll need an EIN.
  1. Filing business tax returns: An EIN is crucial for filing various business tax returns, ensuring accurate reporting to the IRS.
  1. Retirement plans: If your business plans to establish a retirement plan, such as a 401(k), you'll need an EIN for administrative purposes.
  1. Real estate transactions: When involved in real estate transactions for your business, an EIN is often required for legal and financial documentation.

How to Apply for an EIN?

Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to guide you through the application:

Step 1: Determine eligibility:

Confirm that your business is eligible for an EIN. If your business is within the U.S. or a U.S. territory, you can apply online. If located elsewhere, applying over the phone is necessary. The person applying must possess a valid taxpayer identification number.

Step 2: Apply at the IRS website:

Begin the EIN application process by visiting the IRS website.

Step 3: Select your business type:

Indicate your business type during the application process. Choices include:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Estate
  • Trust
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Church
  • Government Entity
  • Others

Step 4: Provide a reason for requesting EIN:

Specify the purpose for requesting an EIN. Common reasons include starting a new business, hiring employees for the first time, opening a bank account, changing the type of organization, or acquiring an existing business.

Step 5: Authenticate personal information:

Enter your personal information, including your Social Security Number, to verify your eligibility to apply for an EIN.

Step 6: Share the business location:

Provide the physical address of your business. If applicable, include a mailing address.

Step 7: Share business information:

Furnish details about your business, such as its name, the county and state where it's located, and the date and place of its formation.

Step 8: Receive EIN:

After a successful submission, you'll receive a confirmation letter containing your assigned EIN. It's advisable to print out this letter for your records.

When applying for an EIN, keep in mind that the application must be completed in a single session. Unfortunately, there's no option to save your progress for later. The session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity, requiring you to restart the application process if needed

Bottom line

Congratulations! With your new EIN, you're all set to launch your business or expand your team. When it comes to managing your workforce efficiently, think about implementing payroll solutions like 

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