How Does a Business Obtain a Tax ID Number?


Quick Answer

Businesses that are required to obtain a tax ID number can do so online through the IRS's website or by phone, fax or mail; the preferred method is online, where the employer identification number (EIN) can be issued immediately. An EIN is used by the IRS to keep track of all payments made by a business to its employees and is required for corporations, partnerships and LLCs and sole proprietorships that have employees and withhold taxes.

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Full Answer

When applying for an EIN online, the individual applying will have to provide his or her name and Social Security number, answer five short questions about the business and the reason for the application, and enter the legally registered details of the company. After the application is processed, an EIN is issued that can be used immediately.

To apply by fax, fill out IRS form SS-4 form with all of the required information and fax it to the number listed by the IRS for the state where the business is located. If it is determined that an EIN needs to be assigned, it will be faxed back to the applicant within four days.

To apply by phone, call 800-829-4933 during business hours with the required information from the SS-4 form and answer questions about the company. An EIN will be issued immediately.

To apply by mail, complete the SS-4 form and mail it the address listed for the location in the IRS list for different states. It can take four weeks for requests to be processed.

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