What Are the Various Ways That a Business May Apply for an Employer Identification Number?


Quick Answer

Taxpayers may apply for an employer identification number (EIN) online, by mail, fax or telephone, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS recommends applying online for faster service. EIN numbers are free.

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Full Answer

There are services on the Internet that charge for an EIN number, and taxpayers who require this number for their small business should steer clear of sites that charge.

The IRS issues EINs online immediately. Taxpayers must provide a United States address and a social security number to receive an EIN. An individual may use a taxpayer identification number or employer identification number in lieu of a social security number, notes the IRS.

The IRS provides a PDF application for those who prefer to apply for an EIN via fax. The PDF should contain all required information and once approved, the IRS will issue a new EIN within 4 business days.

International applicants must apply for an EIN by phone. To apply, call 267-941-1099. Please note that this is not a toll-free number.

Applicants who choose to apply by mail can expect to receive their EIN number within 4 weeks. Applicants must provide all required information to avoid delays in processing.

The IRS will only issue one EIN number per responsible party per day. A responsible party is a person who is a principal officer, general partner or owner of a small business.

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