How to Obtain a Free EIN Number: A Complete Guide
If you are a business owner or plan to start your own business, you may have come across the term EIN number. An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business entity. It is essential for various tax and legal purposes, such as opening a business bank account, filing tax returns, and hiring employees. In this article, we will guide you on how to obtain a free EIN number and answer some frequently asked questions related to the process.
Step-by-Step Guide to Obtain a Free EIN Number:
1. Determine if you need an EIN: Not all businesses require an EIN. Sole proprietors with no employees can use their Social Security Number (SSN) for tax purposes. However, if you have employees, operate as a partnership or corporation, or plan to open a business bank account, you will need an EIN.
2. Visit the IRS website: The easiest and most convenient way to obtain a free EIN number is through the official website of the IRS. Go to www.irs.gov and search for “EIN” in the search bar. You will find the “Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online” link.
3. Click on the link: Once you click on the provided link, you will be redirected to the EIN Assistant page. Read the information provided and click on the “Begin Application” button.
4. Select the appropriate entity type: The EIN Assistant will ask you to choose the entity type that best describes your business. Common options include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, nonprofit organization, etc. Select the one that suits your business structure.
5. Fill out the application form: You will be required to provide various details about your business, such as the legal name, trade name (if applicable), address, responsible party’s name and SSN, reason for applying, and the number of employees. Ensure that you provide accurate information to avoid any delays or issues.
6. Review and submit the application: Double-check all the information you have entered for accuracy. Once you are satisfied, submit the application. You will receive an EIN immediately upon completion of the process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Q: Is there a fee to obtain an EIN number?
A: No, obtaining an EIN number is free of charge when done directly through the IRS website.
Q: Can I obtain an EIN number over the phone?
A: Yes, you can apply for an EIN number over the phone by calling the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933. However, applying online is generally faster and more convenient.
Q: How long does it take to receive an EIN number?
A: If you apply online, you will receive your EIN immediately upon completing the application. If you apply by mail or fax, it may take up to four weeks to receive your EIN.
Q: Can I use the same EIN number for multiple businesses?
A: No, each business entity requires a separate EIN number. If you have multiple businesses, each one should have its own unique EIN.
Q: Can I change the responsible party for my EIN?
A: Yes, you can change the responsible party for your EIN by completing Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party – Business, and submitting it to the IRS.
Q: What if I lose or forget my EIN number?
A: You can locate your EIN number by referring to previously filed tax documents or contacting the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line. It is essential to keep your EIN number in a safe place for future reference.
In conclusion, obtaining a free EIN number is a simple process that can be done online through the IRS website. Follow the step-by-step guide provided in this article, and you will have your EIN number in no time. Remember to keep your EIN number safe and use it for all necessary tax and legal purposes related to your business.