How To Obtain an EIN

Starting a business requires the making of many decisions! One of the decisions is to get an EIN number, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number. There is an abundance of information on the Internal Revenue Service website.

The first thing you need to consider is if you need an EIN number? There are several qualifying questions to ask yourself on the website. Questions like: Will I have employees? Will I withhold taxes on income? Will I operate my business as a Corporation or Partnership? Once you have determined the answers to the qualifying questions on the website, you will determine if you need to apply for the EIN number or not.

If you do determine that you need one, there are several ways in which to obtain it:

  • Online - The best way to apply, if possible. All of the information requested is verified while you are online, and your EIN number is issued immediately. You can then download, save and print your confirmation notice.
  • Phone - Call 1-800-829-4933 and complete the application over the phone. You may reach an Internal Revenue Representative Monday - Friday from 7:00 am until 10:00 pm. The EIN number will be given to you at that time.
  • Fax - You will need to print and complete Form SS4. Upon completion, fax the form to (859) 669-5760. Within four (4) business days, the form with your assigned EIN number will be returned to you via fax.
  • Mail - You will need to print and complete Form SS4. Upon completion, mail the completed form to Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH  45999. Once the form is processed it is returned to you by mail. This process can take up to four (4) weeks to complete.

Once your EIN number has been assigned to you, it becomes a permanent EIN for that entity. The EIN numbers are never reused or reassigned. If you decide that you want to close your account, you must write the Internal Revenue Service and explain the reason you want to close your account. If possible, enclose a copy of the Notice that was issued. If you can't provide a copy of the notice, be sure to include the complete legal name, the EIN number and the business address.

There is a tremendous amount of information on the Internal Revenue Service website. This is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service. If you have problems or need to speak with an Internal Revenue Service representative regarding obtaining an EIN, please call 1-800-829-4933,  Monday - Friday from 7:00 am until 10:00 pm.


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