Updated for Tax Year 2014
Does your business employ workers, withhold taxes, or operate as a corporation or partnership? If so, you need an Employee Identification Number. Follow these 4 steps to obtain one.
If you operate a business the IRS may require you to obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN), which is also referred to as your business tax ID number. Each EIN is unique in the same way that your Social Security number is. The number allows the IRS to identify your business and requires you to provide it on all of your tax documents and forms. Fortunately, the IRS makes it very simple to obtain a new EIN.
Step 1 - Determine whether you need an EIN
Step 2 - Apply for an EIN
You can apply for your EIN by fax, phone or
mail; however, the IRS prefers that you submit your application online. When you do, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the short application. Go to the IRS website to access the EIN Assistant page and click on “Begin Application” at the bottom to get started.
Step 3 - Answer five short questions
The first question requires you to select the type of EIN you are applying for such as a sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC, partnership or estate. You then need to choose the option that best describes why you are applying for an EIN. This can be to start a new business, for banking purposes or for a range of other reasons. The online questionnaire then requests your name and Social Security number before you can finish your application.
Step 4 - Save the document with your EIN