Does My LLC Need an EIN?

By IncNow | Published December 21, 2020
  • Why your business should have an EIN, even if it’s an LLC.
  • Is the information you submit to the IRS about your business accessible to the public?
  • Confused by some of the questions on the SS-4 form? We provide you guidance.

If you have an LLC, you might wonder whether you need an EIN. An EIN, which is also known as a federal tax identification number, is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS that’s used to identify the tax accounts of employers and companies.

Does an LLC Need an EIN?

It’s recommend that you obtain an EIN number soon after the formation of your LLC, whether you are forming a single-member or multi-member LLC. This avoids confusion between the company and the member, and minimizes potential alter-ego liability. Follow the instructions on the SS-4 Form (the application for the EIN). Here are some common questions about Form SS-4:

Box 11: What should I list as my business start date? It is completely up to you to decide when to list the business start date. If you do not know when you will start conducting business in the future, you can list your date of formation.

Box 9a: What type of entity is my LLC? If you have an LLC check the box for “other” and insert LLC.

Box 7a: Do I have to list my SSN? This only applies to US citizens or Legalized Resident Aliens. But the answer is yes, if the Responsible Party possess one, it must be listed on the application.

Box 13: How many employees do I put if I have none, but I wish to bring employees on board down the road? This is question is asking for the number of employees you expect to have within the next 12 months. This number can be an estimation if you have not hired anyone yet.

Will the information on this application become public record? No, this personal information is kept private.

Do Single Member LLC’s Need an EIN?

A single-member LLC can either use the Social Security Number (SSN) of the single member to conduct business, or it can obtain a separate Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. IncNow can obtain an EIN for your company for $99. The IRS requires a multi-member LLC to have an EIN.

Do I Obtain an EIN or Form an LLC First?

It is best to form your LLC first and then get an EIN. Although it happens infrequently, the Division of Corporations may reject an LLC name or determine that it conflicts with the name of another entity. In most cases, the IRS will issue EINs online in a matter of minutes, so this is unlikely to cause delays. However, you should apply for and obtain an EIN soon after you form your LLC, since most banks will require one to open a business bank account.

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MORE: How to Apply for an EIN

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