The EIN Number i.e. Employer Identification Number is an identifier used by the IRS for businesses or other entities. Most of businesses need to have an EIN even if they do not have employees. For example, many banks require an EIN number before you can apply for a business checking account. EIN number is primarily used for employment tax identification purposes, an EIN number can also be used as a general tax number. The EIN number is used to identify your business in the US and you need one if you meet any of the following criteria –

  • You employ staff for the business
  • You operate your business as a co-operation or partnership
  • You file any of the following tax returns as – excise, employment and alcohol, tobacco or firearms
  • You withhold taxes on income other than wages and paid to offshore alien
  • Your business is involved in any of these types of organizations such as trusts, estates, real estate mortgage investment conduits, non-profit organizations, farmer’s cooperatives and plan administrators

Basically, the EIN number is a unique nine-digit number that is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (i.e. IRS) that assigns every operating business in the US for the purpose of identification and taxes. In other words, an EIN number is an employee identification number just like a Social Security Number (i.e. SSN) is for a person, but an EIN number is for a business. For example, if you run a corporation, a limited liability company with more than one member or a business that hires employees, then you are most likely to obtain an EIN number.

When the EIN Number is needed?

Businesses need an EIN number to pay their federal taxes online, to file their annual tax return and to issue the payroll and tax documents to suppliers. This number has less to do with the employees and more to do with the taxation, so if your business pays taxes (and who does not), you need to have an EIN number.


To receive an EIN number, a business needs to locate in US and the person applying for the EIN number has to have their own taxpayer identification number, such as a social security number. A wide variety of the entities may apply for and be issued an EIN number, from sole proprietorships to partnerships, LLCs, corporations, government agencies, non-profit organizations and other types of organizations. There are no size requirements or limitations, as far as employees are concerned regarding the EIN number. A sole proprietorship with only the owner as employee can request for the EIN number, as can a multinational corporation or charity.

Filing as a Responsible Party

You will be filing for the EIN number as the “responsible party” so you will need to be sure that you have the authority to make this filing. The IRS has set up the designation of “responsible party” so as to make sure that someone with authority to do the business for a company is completing the form. The responsible party should be individual or entity that controls, manages or directs the entity and the disposition of the entity funds and assets. For the small business, a responsible party is a general partner, owner or principal officer of the company.

What are the different steps to apply for the EIN number?

Applying for the EIN Number does not cost anything and when it comes to how to get an EIN number, you have three options i.e. you can apply via online, fax or through the mail. If you are an international applicant, then you can apply for the EIN number over the phone. One thing that you have to keep in mind is that you cannot apply for more than one EIN number per day if you own multiple businesses. Regardless of the method you can choose the information you provide the IRS is the same. You need to disclose these things such as –

  • Legal name
  • Address
  • Business structure (e.g. sole proprietorship)
  • Reason for applying

You can apply for the EIN Number by using any of one way from these four ways –


The IRS prefers that businesses get their EIN number via online mode. Many people use the online EIN application form, contact us for more info

To apply for the EIN number online, your principal business must be in the United States or US Territories and you need to have a valid taxpayer identification number (e.g. Social Security Number i.e. SSN) to apply. The EIN online application form consist of these five parts –

  • Identify
  • Authenticate
  • Addresses
  • Details
  • EIN Number Confirmation

It is very necessary to have the application form completed and all the questions answered before you go online because you need to begin over if you have to stop to figure out the responses. According to IRS –

  • You must need to complete the application form in one session, as you will not be able to save and return at a later time.
  • For the security concern, your session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity and you will need to start over if your session get expired.

When you have completed the application form, the information is validated and you can receive the EIN Number immediately.


Only the international applicants can apply for an EIN number by phone. In order to apply for the EIN number over the phone you need to call our  Business and Specialty Tax Eastern Time from Monday to Friday. When you call the IRS, you need to answer some questions found on the SS-4 Form. You can also authorize someone else to receive your business EIN number and answer SS-4Form questions on the phone. But to do this, you need to fill out the “Third Party Designee” section on SS-4 Form and sign and date it so as to authorize someone to take the call.


If you do not want to apply for the EIN Number via “Online” means, then you can opt for applying via “Fax”. To apply by “Fax”, you must complete the SS-4 Form, Application for the“Employer Identification Number”. You can fax the completed form to your state fax number whenever you like, since it is available 24 hours a day. You must ensure that you have read over and have filledall the columns of SS-4 Form carefully so as to ensure you answer everything. Otherwise, you could prolong the process.The fax number you use depend on where your business is located. You can use any one of the following numbers to fax your SS-4 Form to the IRS –

  • If your principal business, office or agency or legal residence is located in any one of the 50 states or D.C
  • If you have no legal residence, principal place of the business or principal office or agency in any state.

You will receive your EIN Number by fax within four business days if you provide a return fax number and about two weeks if you do not. 


If you are not in a big hurry, then you can apply via mail. To apply via mail, you need to complete SS-4Form. Mail your completed SS-4 Form to the appropriate usat our office address. You will receive your EIN Number by mail within four to five weeks. 

How to get an EIN number if you lose it?

If you lose or misplace your EIN number, don’t panic as you can get it back.

Contact us at Often, you can do an EIN number lookup without contacting the IRS. In order to get back your EIN Number, you need to first look through your physical and digital business documents. Try to find the computer-generated notice as the IRS sent you when you originally applied for your Employer Identification Number.

If you cannot find the original confirmation, then you need to look to some documents that should have your EIN number. The documents that should have your EIN number listed are –

  • Your bank account information
  • Employee payroll records
  • State account applications
  • Small business tax returns

If you still unable to find your EIN number despite of all the above steps, then you need to call the IRS Business and Speciality Tax Line number from 07:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m., Eastern Time from Monday to Friday. After you provide the identifying information, the IRS will do an EIN number lookup and provide your EIN number over the telephone. However, the caller must be the authorized person (e.g. sole proprietor) to receive the EIN number of the business.

When do you need to have a new EIN Number?

Sometimes the businesses need to apply for the new EIN number from the IRS. You need to apply for the new EIN number –

  • If you have change your business structure or ownership.
  • Your business has declared bankruptcy and this is valid only for the partnership and proprietorship.
  • If a statutory merger creates a new corporation or business entity then you will have to apply for a new EIN number.

How to cancel your EIN Number?

Once your business has received an EIN number, the IRS would not be able to cancel it, as it will become the company’s federal taxpayer ID number indefinitely, even if you never use it to file your tax return. Your unique EIN number will never be reassigned or reused by being issued to another business entity. So if you do not end up using your EIN number in the near future, it will always be there if your business picks up later on.

However, according to the IRS, if you do get an EIN number but you determine later on that you do not actually need it, the agency could close your company’s account. You would need to send the IRS a letter that contains the legal name of your business, along with its address, its EIN number and the reason why you want to close the account. Before your account can be closed, you must pay all of the taxes that you owe regarding your business.

Benefits of Having the EIN Number

EIN Number offers your various benefits regarding your business such as –

  • It offers safety for the sole proprietors or individuals.
  • EIN number help the companies to establish credit.
  • It can help the companies to obtain all of the necessary business licenses and permits.
  • Employer ID number help the companies to open a bank account using your business name, as the bank will require you to have an EIN number along with all of the other necessary information.
  • EIN number help you in avoiding the tax penalties
  • EIN number help you to prevent identity theft.
  • Lenders need to have an EIN number when applying for business loans.
  • If you are a freelancer, then filling out tax forms with an EIN number would prevent you from giving your Social Security Number to everyone who paid you.
  • If you are a sole proprietor, then you could use an EIN number rather than your Social Security Number when sending 1099 forms to any contractors or freelancers you paid.
  • EIN number helps you in preserving limited liability for single-member LLCs.

EIN number is very crucial for satisfying the tax liabilities and entity identification with governments and other organizations. Accordingly the business entities, especially those with employees, should obtain an EIN number immediately upon the establishment of the business. The business principal officer or similarly responsible party should complete this application form online to most expeditiously to receive the EIN number. For easy EIN delivery just contact us