How Do You Get an EIN?


Quick Answer

The Internal Revenue Service recommends that sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, LLCs, estates, trusts and nonprofit organizations should obtain Employer Identification Numbers through the Internet EIN application on the IRS website. Taxpayers can also apply for an EIN by fax, mail or telephone.

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Full Answer

An application for an EIN should be made by a responsible party, defined by the IRS as the principal officer, a general partner of a partnership, an owner, a grantor or a trustor. Someone temporarily authorized to act on behalf of a person or entity can fill out the application but cannot be listed as the responsible party. To use the online application, the entity for which the EIN is needed must be located in the United States, and the applicant must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number, such as a Social Security Number. The EIN is issued immediately after the form is completed online, and the confirmation notice can be downloaded, saved and printed. To apply by fax or by mail, applicants download and fill out IRS Form SS-4. After the processing procedure, the EIN is faxed or mailed back to the taxpayer.

If an EIN is lost, it can easily be reclaimed by phoning the IRS business and specialty tax line. An EIN does not need to be changed when a business changes name or location. However, a new EIN is needed after significant changes to the structure or ownership of a business.

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