EIN stands for Employer ID Number, and is the tax identification number most businesses must use. (You could think of it as a company’s Social Security number.)
If you’re setting up a business bank account or need a business license, there will probably be a space on the form for your EIN. Fortunately, it’s simple to apply for your own business tax ID number via the web.
When you usually don’t need one: If you’re not incorporated and don’t have any employees, you might not need a separate business tax ID number.
Another case where you might not need one: If you’re a sole proprietor but are an LLC (aka a Single Member Limited Liability Company), you can choose to not file your taxes as a corporation, but instead as a “disregarded entity” — meaning you just report your business income on your personal tax return under your own Social Security number rather than with your EIN. Find out more about disregarded entities from the IRS here.
As soon as your information is verified, you will receive your EIN… but it may take up to two weeks before your ID number becomes part of the IRS’s permanent records (after which you can make an electronic payment or file an electronic tax return).
The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as legal or tax advice.