File for you Employee Identification Number (EIN)

If you run your own business, chances are you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so that the IRS can identify your business and collect taxes from you on time. This guide to how to file for an EIN will walk you through the process, from finding out whether or not you need one at all to knowing exactly what information and forms you need to apply. In no time, you’ll be submitting your own EIN application with confidence!

What Is an EIN?

An EIN is an employer identification number and is necessary for operating a business. Whether you're opening a single proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or corporation, you'll need one. In this post, we'll show you how to apply!

Why Get An EIN?

A federal tax ID number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), is a number that's used for identifying and reporting businesses. It can help simplify the accounting process and protect your company from mistakes that might lead to penalties or fines. Having an EIN can be particularly helpful if you’re hiring employees, opening a bank account, or looking into accepting credit cards at your business.

What Info is Needed?

The type of information needed to file for an ein can vary depending on the individual's situation. It will include your business name, address, and any other related contact information.

Form SS-4 should be submitted by the sole proprietor or entity representative. It will ask for certain tax and personal information, like their address, social security number, and date of birth. On the form there are checkboxes for who is filing this application (individuals), whether they live outside the United States, whether it's a one person business with one owner (sole proprietorship), or if they're a corporation.

All EIN applications (mail, fax, electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor. This individual or entity, which the IRS will call the “responsible party,” controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity.


Ways to Apply

Apply Online

The Internet EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN. Once the application is completed, the information is validated during the online session, and an EIN is issued immediately. The online application process is available for all entities whose principal business, office or agency, or legal residence (in the case of an individual), is located in the United States or U.S. Territories.

Apply by Fax

Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4PDF application to the appropriate fax number (see Where to File Your Taxes (for Form SS-4)), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information. If it is determined that the entity needs a new EIN, one will be assigned using the appropriate procedures for the entity type. If the taxpayer's fax number is provided, a fax will be sent back with the EIN within four (4) business days.

Apply by Mail

The processing timeframe for an EIN application received by mail is four weeks. Ensure that the Form SS-4PDF contains all of the required information. If it is determined that the entity needs a new EIN, one will be assigned using the appropriate procedures for the entity type and mailed to the taxpayer. Find out where to mail Form SS-4 on the Where to File Your Taxes (for Form SS-4) page.

Apply by Telephone – International Applicants

International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN. The person making the call must be authorized to receive the EIN and answer questions concerning the Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification NumberPDF. Complete the Third Party Designee section only if you want to authorize the named individual to receive the entity’s EIN and answer questions about the completion of Form SS-4. The designee’s authority terminates at the time the EIN is assigned and released to the designee. You must complete the signature area for the authorization to be valid.


Where to Find the Form

The easiest way to get a form for filing for an ein is to go online and complete the form. The IRS has an official page where they offer the forms and you can find the link to the appropriate form here:


If you wish to mail it in instead of applying online, here is the Printer-friendly version.

What’s next?

There are a few things you need to do after filing your form. You will want to check the status of your application at The system is updated with any pending applications, and it’s easier than trying to contact them via phone or email.

You can also call the toll free number (800) 829-3676 during regular business hours. Once they receive the information, they should send out a letter within 10 days confirming that they received everything correctly and telling you what name was assigned to your new EIN number. KEEP ANY DOCUMENTATION YOU RECEIVE ABOUT THIS APPLICATION AND NUMBER.

Daily Limitation of an Employer Identification Number

Effective May 21, 2012, to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service will limit Employer Identification Number (EIN) issuance to one per responsible party per day. This limitation is applicable to all requests for EINs whether online or by fax or mail. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Filing for your own EIN is a fairly straightforward process, and with the help of this guide, you should be able to complete it in less than half an hour. Once you get your information together, it's just a matter of filling out a form and submitting it with a few supporting documents. Once you're all set up, you can file your business income taxes on time, submit annual reports if necessary, and avoid the hassle of waiting on the IRS. If you need help with filing this form, feel free to reach out to us at LuCreative Digital Designs, we’ll be happy to help!

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