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How Do I Apply for an EIN, aka Federal Tax ID Number

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax ID Number, is a nine-digit number assigned to a business for the purpose of identification with the IRS: it’s the business entity equivalent of a social security number for citizens.

Why Do I Need an EIN?

An EIN is required for any corporation or LLC that consists of multiple members or employees. An EIN is required to withhold taxes from employees, open bank accounts, and any application that requires a business to validate its authenticity.

How Do I Apply for an EIN?

While the EIN application requires personal information in order to be issued, that information is solely used to assign a number and not to tie any personal information to the company or the EIN.

Oftentimes a business undergoes changes, prompting the question of whether they will need a new EIN. Changing the name or location of a company does not require a new EIN to be assigned, as long as it is still operating under the same filing. Likewise, a corporation or LLC with an EIN already assigned will not need to obtain a new number if they elect to be taxed as an S-corporation.

The IRS provides a list of scenarios in which a new EIN will be required for changes made to a company. These situations include subsidiaries of corporations using the parent corporation’s EIN, new corporations being created after a merger, and new single-member LLCs electing to be taxed as an S-corporation.

When you form your business, a registered agent like IncNow can typically secure your corporation or LLC’s EIN the same day. However, it typically takes 2-5 weeks to receive a hard copy of your EIN from the IRS by mail.

How Do I Find My EIN?

If you have applied for and received an EIN but cannot find it, you can try the following to locate it:

  • If you opened a business bank account using the EIN, call your bank. They may provide it to you with proper verification.
  • Find copies of past tax returns in your company’s files. The EIN is likely to be on the tax returns.
  • Call your registered agent if they obtained the EIN on your behalf. Although it is not part of registered agent service, they may have record of it on your account.
  • Call the IRS’s Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933. This operates from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. With proper verification, the operators can provide the number to the person who was listed as the authorized person on the SS-4 form.

When deciding where to form your company, consider that Delaware has advantages over your home state that may benefit you. Go