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IRS Application for EIN — Download

Download IRS form SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number and begin the process for your EIN.

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How to Apply for an EIN Online:

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How to Apply for an EIN Online:

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for an EIN online.

1. 

Prepare for the application process.

1.1 

Check whether you need an EIN.

Check whether you need an EIN.

Not every business needs to get an Employer Identification Number, but some are required to by law. Visit the IRS website to find out if you need to get an EIN for your business.

It is a good idea to get an EIN anyway because banks often ask for one when processing business loan applications.

Go to the "Do You Need an EIN?" page on the IRS webiste.

Answer the "Yes / No" questions.

If you answer "Yes" to any of the questions, follow our next step.

1.2 

Download Form SS-4.

Download Form SS-4.

While it is unnecessary to fill in and file any forms when applying for your EIN online, it is a good idea to download Form SS-4 beforehand. This way you can prepare all the information you'll need and won't run the risk of having to start again after 15 minutes inactivity because you were unsure of something.

Gather all the information needed to fill in the form.

Answer all the questions in the form before starting the online process.

1.3 

Read and understand the requirements.

Read and understand the requirements.

These are the requirements given by the IRS:

  • You have to complete the process in one session. You lose any progress made after 15 minutes of inactivity.
  • You must have a valid U.S. ID number.
  • You must have a valid Taxpayers Identification Number.
2. 

Start the online application process.

2.1 

Launch the EIN Assistant.

Launch the EIN Assistant.

Visit the IRS website and click on "Apply Online Now."

2.2 

Read about the EIN Assistant.

Read about the EIN Assistant.

When the EIN Assistant launches, a window with information about the Assistant and a list of restrictions opens. Read and understand all the information. Click "Begin Application" when you're ready.

2.3 

Identify your business.

Identify your business.

Section 1 is titled "Identify." In this section, you will have to select your company's legal structure, give basic details about members and your business's location, and choose a reason for your application.

2.4 

Authenticate the information.

Authenticate the information.

The second section is titled "Authenticate." In it, you will have to provide accurate personal information about the "responsible party." As the owner of the business, the responsible party will most likely be you. The information you give here must match IRS records.

2.5 

Give all relevant addresses.

Give all relevant addresses.

Section 3 is titled "Addresses." In this section, you will have to give a mailing address and a physical location of the business.

2.6 

Provide details of the business.

Provide details of the business.

Section 4 is titled "Details." In this section, you will be asked to provide the legal name of the entity, the trade name of the business, the number of employees, the date the business started, basic tax information, and what the business does.

2.7 

Await confirmation.

Await confirmation.

You should receive your EIN as soon as you complete the online application process. You can then begin using it.

Three Alternative Ways to Apply for an EIN:

Apply for an EIN by fax:

Processing time: 4 days.

  • Download Form SS-4 and fill it in.
  • Doublecheck that all the information is accurate.
  • Make sure to include your fax number.
  • Fax the form: (855) 641-6935.

Apply for an EIN by mail:

Processing time: 4 weeks.

  • Download Form SS-4 and fill it in.
  • Doublecheck that all the information is accurate.
  • Send to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999.

Apply for an EIN by telephone:

Processing time: Immediate.

  • Download Form SS-4.
  • Familiarize yourself with the questions and requirements.
  • Call: 267-941-1099 between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m, Monday to Friday.
  • Answer the questions.
  • When you receive the confirmation documents, you'll need to sign them to make your EIN valid.

How to Change Your Business Name

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Learn how to create a domain name for your business. Includes frequently asked questions.

FAQs:

How do I apply for an EIN online?

Visit the IRS website and click on "Apply Online Now." Then, follow the EIN Assistant.

Is there a fee for applying for an EIN?

No. The IRS offers the service for free.

How long does it take to apply for an EIN online?

The online EIN application process takes 15 minutes. Once all validations have been done, your EIN will be assigned immediately.

How do I get an EIN?

You have to apply for an EIN at the Internal Revenue Service. You can apply online, via fax, through the mail, or over the phone. Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

Is an EIN and a tax ID the same thing?

Yes, an Employer Identification Number is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number.

How can I get a free EIN?

You should never have to pay for an EIN. The service is offered by the IRS for free. Visit www.irs.gov for more information.

How do I fill out an EIN for an LLC?

  • Go to the IRS website and click on "Apply Online Now."
  • Read and understand the requirements.
  • Click "Begin Application."
  • Select LLC when asked to select a legal structure.
  • Follow the rest of the prompts.

What is an EIN used for?

An EIN is used by the IRS to identify different business accounts for tax purposes.

Can I get a copy of my EIN letter online?

No. When completing the EIN application process, you will receive a computer-generated confirmation letter which will be mailed to you. If you applied online, you would have been allowed to download it. If you've lost it, you'll have to phone the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 to request an EIN verification letter.

Who is the responsible party when applying for an EIN?

The "responsible party" is the person who runs the business entity that is in need of an EIN. If you are applying for an EIN for your business, it is very likely you are the "responsible party."

What does EIN stand for?

EIN stands for "Employer Identification Number."

How long does an EIN take?

The processing times for an EIN depends on the application method. If your online application is successful, you will be assigned an EIN immediately. Applying through fax takes four days. Applying through the mail takes four weeks. And, if you apply over the phone, your number is assigned immediately but will only be valid once you sign the documents you receive.

Should I get an EIN?

Only some businesses are required by law to get an EIN, but it is a good idea to get one anyway as it is often needed for things like business loans. The IRS has a simple questionnaire for checking whether or not your business is eligible for an EIN.

When should I apply for an EIN?

If you're planning on applying for an EIN because you've started a business, you should apply for your EIN once you've created your legal entity and before you start hiring employees and looking for business loans.

Do I need an EIN for an LLC?

If your LLC has employees, then yes. Visit the IRS website to check if your business is eligible for an EIN.

Is an EIN confidential?

No, an Employer Identification Number is a public record.

What does an EIN look like?

An EIN is a nine-digit number that is structured like this: XX-XXXXXXX.

Why can't I get an EIN online?

There could be a number of reasons for this, but the most likely reason is that your legal entity's name isn't unique. It could also be that the information you provided for the "responsible party" doesn't match IRS records.

Can I change my business name and keep the same EIN?

Yes, but there is a particular process you need to follow when changing your business name. Visit the IRS website Business Name Change page to find out what you need to do.

Do you need an EIN for Etsy?

EIN numbers are used by the IRS to identify businesses. If you are wondering whether you are required by law to apply for an EIN for your Etsy business, visit the IRS website to check your eligibility. It is unlikely, however, since most Etsy stores are sole proprietorships and have no employees.

Is there a difference between an EIN and an EIN number?

No. "EIN" stands for "Employer Identification Number." Some people refer to it as an "EIN number." EINs are also referred to as "Federal Employer Identification Numbers" (FEINs).

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