How To Apply For An Employment Identification Number (EIN)

This article would help out with information on how to apply for the EIN. Applying for this number isn’t a difficult process as you’d see.

If you own or are starting a business with employees, are a trustee of an irrevocable trust or you are administering an estate, obtaining an EIN is a requirement. The EIN is short for the Employer Identification Number.

This 9 digit number is issued for taxation purposes by the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS).

As an entrepreneur, the need for an EIN Number shouldn’t take you by surprise. We assume that you have detailed knowledge of it or have heard about it and have seen no need to find details about it.

Am I Eligible?

This is the question you should find an answer to. Eligibility for the EIN rests on several situations.

First, your business(s) should be located within the United States or its territories. Secondly, you must have obtained a valid taxpayer ID number.

Thirdly, you only get one EIN per day. This applies to the individual or person who’s in charge of the entity.

Processes For EIN Number Application

There are several ways to apply for an EIN. These include the online application, application by fax, application by mail, and by telephone. Multiple application methods are provided for purposes of convenience.

Let’s consider each of these for better understanding.

  • Online EIN Application

After finding out if you’re eligible to apply, you must also understand that the application process must be completed in one session. In other words, the application won’t save until completed. Leaving the page inactive for 15 minutes will result in the expiration of the session. You will have to start all over again.

To begin the application properly, click on the “apply online now” on the IRS website. You’ll find a list of instructions that must be carefully read. You’d find links on the page that will redirect you to further instructions on how to find out if you need an EIN or knowing if you need a new one.

All instructions on this page are pretty much straightforward.

After clicking on the “Proceed with the application” tab, it takes you to a page where you are required to choose the type of legal structure you are applying to an EIN for. This includes Sole Proprietor, Partnerships, Corporations, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Estate and Trusts.

If you can’t find your type of legal structure, there’s still a “view additional types” option you can select to proceed. The application process is straightforward from hereon.

Apply For An EIN Number By Fax

This is another option you can use to apply for the EIN. Under the IRS’ Fax-TIN program, applicants receive their fax within 4 business days. Any method used in applying for an EIN is the same method the method or channel the number gets issued to you through.

You will need to carefully complete the Form SS-4 and fax it. But fax needs a number right? How do I get it? This is available on its (IRS) website. The IRS has several fax numbers that serve different purposes. Using a fax number will depend on whether the matter is personal or business. Your geographic location counts too. There are fax numbers for specific geographical locations.

By visiting its site, you can find out what number to use for faxing your application. If you’re faxing from outside the United States, a department is saddled with the responsibility of handling such issues. Those within the United States are placed under 3 divisions based on location. The IRS has made it easier to locate your state and the number to use.

Apply For An EIN Number By Mail

This is the third available option for applicants. The form SS-4 is also used when applying by mail. However, this form will need to be completed way early. That is, at least 4 to 5 weeks before you’ll be needing the EIN. This form should be signed and the date written before mailing to the appropriate address. This brings us to the mailing address.

To find the appropriate mailing address, you’ll need to click on the “Where to File Your Taxes” tab. This shows you two sections one of which is for persons or businesses located in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. The other is for those with no legal residence, principal place of business, or principal office or agency in any state.

Apply For An EIN Number By Telephone

This option is only available to international applicants. One of the requirements for applying by phone is that you must be authorized to receive the EIN in addition to providing satisfactory answers to questions bordering on the Form SS-4. There’s a provision for a third-party designee.

You’ll need to provide the name of the individual you want to authorize to receive the EIN on behalf of the entity.

The same questions as those you were asked will also be asked the designee. However, the authority of the designee ends the moment the EIN is assigned and issued to them. Your signature will be required for such authorization to be considered valid. Apart from the online option, all the others require a longer waiting time.

However, the need for applying through these methods (that is, through fax, mail, and telephone) might justify the wait.

We have treated different ways to apply for an EIN. Each of these methods has its advantages based on your needs. These options are provided for convenience. Choose your most preferred option to apply for your EIN.

It is necessary to round up by saying the application process is free (at least for online application). You will have to incur mailing, phone, and fax costs if any of these options are preferable.

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