How To Get An EIN For Your Business
An employee identification number (EIN) is necessary for small businesses to hire employees. Need an EIN to get your business started? Here is our step-by-step guide.
If you’re a small business owner who employs other people, you need to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
In this article, we’ll discuss how to get an EIN for your business, if a tax ID is the same as an EIN, and how much an EIN costs.
Table of Contents
- What Is An Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
- How Do I Get An EIN?
- What If I Lost My EIN?
- Do I Need An EIN?
- How To Get EIN FAQs
What Is An Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
An (EIN) is sometimes called a business tax ID number or even just a tax ID. (An EIN and a Tax ID are the same and used interchangeably.)
This is a unique 9-digit number that identifies your company for the IRS. Besides filing business taxes, you might need an EIN to apply for a business license, apply for a loan, or open a business bank account.
Most business types are required to have an EIN by the IRS. Sole proprietors and LLCs with no employees aren’t required to have an EIN and can use their Social Security Number as their identification.
How Do I Get An EIN?
The most important thing to consider when applying is what method you will choose.
It is free to apply for an EIN, so if a service tries to charge you to apply, make sure you are on the actual IRS website.
Here are four methods for how you can get an EIN.
Once you have received your physical or digital EIN confirmation letter from the IRS, keep it somewhere safe.
What If I Lost My EIN?
If you’ve already applied for an EIN and lost or forgotten the number, there are several ways you can try to find your EIN and avoid re-applying.
- Look over your business documents: Check your physical/virtual business tax returns, your EIN confirmation letter, an old 1099 you gave to contractors, your business credit report, etc.
- Call the IRS: Sometimes, you need to go straight to the source and give the IRS a call. They do typically have long hold times, so keep that in mind.
- Ask someone else: Check in with your accountant, the account manager of your business bank account, consult your accounting software, or any organization you had to register your business with.
Still can’t find your EIN? Read our article about finding your EIN for more solutions to your problem!
Do I Need An EIN?
If you are a business that has employees, you need an EIN. There is no way for you to operate legally otherwise.
If you’re a small business that doesn’t employ anyone, you may still consider getting an EIN. It’s a good first step in separating your business from your personal assets and identity. You’ll need an EIN if you plan on applying for business loans, building your business credit, getting business insurance, or getting a license for/registering your business.