Before you operate a business, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) may require you to obtain EIN (Employer Identification Number) or sometimes called a tax ID number. You should know that every EIN is unique like your Social Security Number. Typically, EIN is composed of a nine-digit number assigned to your business alone.
EIN is a requirement when you apply for a business permit or opening a bank account. Aside from that, EIN can be used to file tax returns and other business-related documents. In most cases, it is also used to make electronic payments as well as file electronic tax returns.
When it is time to apply for an ein number, the IRS made it easy. To help you get started, here are some ways to apply for an EIN:
Option 1: Online
This is the fastest way – about 20 minutes. If you are applying inside the United States, you simply go to the IRS website and then access the “EIN Assistant” page. To start, you should click on “Begin Application”.
There are five short questions that you need to answer starting with the type of EIN you are applying for followed by the reason why you are applying for an EIN. You should also identify the contact person for your business, the business location, and the legal trade name information.
The key here is to always click on the “Continue” button so you can fill all the necessary information. Do not be confused when you reach a page where you have to answer questions about gambling, vehicles, federal excise tax returns, firearms, alcohol, and tobacco. After system generation, you can immediately get and use your new EIN.
Option 2: Phone
If you are outside the United States, you should consider applying through the phone. There is a toll-free number that you can use – the IRS designates 800-829-4933 for this process. Keep in mind their availability though, which is from 7 am to 10 pm local time. When you call, an IRS staff will take the information and will give you the EIN after.
Option 3: Fax
You can also consider the fax. The fax number will depend on the state so you should check first with IRS. You only use the Form SS-4 and put your return fax number. IRS will send EIN within four business days.
Option 4: Regular mail
You can consider regular mail but this is by far the longest route because it takes up to 4 weeks. This option is not good if you are in a rush.
Option 5: Third-party vendor
If you are busy doing things on your own, you can consider EIN Filing Service. This refers to third-party vendors that will apply EIN online on your behalf. You have to be aware though that these third-party vendors are not affiliated with the federal government – they simply offer services for a fee.
This option is stress-free and hassle-free because someone else will take care of the paperwork. At the end of the day, you save time and effort. If you consider this option, you should expect that their online portal would gather the relevant information.