How The Easy Way to Get EIN Number

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), an essential identifier for businesses operating in the United States. Whether you’re starting a new venture or need to comply with tax regulations, obtaining an EIN number is a crucial step. In this article, we will walk you through the process, providing expert advice and important insights to make the application procedure seamless.

What Is an EIN Number and How Does It Work?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses, including corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, estates, trusts, and other entities. It serves as a way to identify your business for tax purposes, similar to a Social Security number for individuals.

Purpose of an EIN Number

The primary purpose of an EIN number is to facilitate tax administration. It enables the IRS to track and identify business entities, ensuring accurate reporting and compliance with tax laws. Some common uses of an EIN number include:

  1. Hiring employees:
    If you plan to hire employees, an EIN number is required for payroll tax purposes and reporting.
  2. Business partnerships:
    When forming a partnership, each partner should have an EIN number to report their share of the partnership’s income and expenses.
  3. Opening a business bank account:
    Most financial institutions require an EIN number to open a business bank account.
  4. Obtaining business licenses:
    Certain licenses and permits may require an EIN number as part of the application process.

How Does an EIN Number Work?

When you apply for an EIN number, the IRS assigns a unique nine-digit identifier to your business. This number becomes your business’s official identification for tax purposes. It is important to keep this number confidential and securely store it as it can be used to identify your business in various transactions.

An EIN number follows the format XX-XXXXXXX, where the first two digits represent the geographic location or the IRS processing center that issued the number. The remaining seven digits are sequential and do not hold any specific meaning.

With your EIN number in hand, you can use it for filing tax returns, making tax payments, applying for business credit, and conducting other official business activities.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Apply for an EIN Number

Obtaining an EIN number for your business is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to apply for an EIN number:

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before applying for an EIN number, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the IRS. Generally, businesses located in the United States or its territories, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and estates, are eligible to apply.

Step 2: Gather Required Information

Collect the necessary information before starting the application process. You will need the following details:

  1. Legal name of your business entity
  2. Business address
  3. Responsible party’s name and Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or EIN
  4. Business structure and the date the business started
  5. Reason for applying (e.g., starting a new business, hiring employees, etc.)

Step 3: Choose the Application Method

The IRS offers multiple methods to apply for an EIN number:
online, by mail, or by fax. The online application (Form SS-4) is the most convenient and fastest option. However, you can also submit Form SS-4 by mail or fax if preferred.

Step 4: Complete the Application

If you choose to apply online, visit the IRS website and access the online EIN application. Provide accurate and detailed information based on the questions asked. Double-check the information for accuracy before submitting the application.

Step 5: Receive Your EIN Number

Once you submit your application, the IRS will validate the information provided and issue your EIN number immediately if there are no errors. If you apply by mail or fax, the processing time may take a few weeks.

Important Note:

If you choose to apply online, the application session has a time limit. Ensure that you complete and submit the application within the specified time to avoid losing your progress.

Online Application: Convenient Ways to Get an EIN Number

Applying for an EIN number online offers a quick and convenient method. Here are the steps to apply online:

Step 1: Visit the IRS Website

Access the official website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by typing “IRS EIN application” into your web browser’s search bar. Look for the official IRS website to ensure you’re on the correct platform.

Step 2: Access the Online Application

Navigate to the EIN application page on the IRS website. Look for the online application form (Form SS-4) and click on the appropriate link to begin the process.

Step 3: Fill Out the Application

Provide the requested information accurately in the online application form. Be sure to enter your business’s legal name, address, and other required details. Also, include the responsible party’s information as requested.

Step 4: Verify and Submit

Double-check all the entered information for accuracy. Make sure names, addresses, and other details are correct. Once you are confident that the information is accurate, submit the completed application form.

Step 5: Receive Your EIN Number

If there are no errors in your application, the IRS will generate and issue your EIN number instantly. Make a note of the assigned EIN number and keep it in a secure location for future reference.

Important Note:

The online application is available for businesses with principal locations in the United States or its territories. International applicants who do not have a legal residence or principal place of business in the United States must apply using other methods such as by mail or fax.

Applying for an EIN Number via Mail or Fax: Explained

If you prefer to apply for an EIN number through traditional methods, such as by mail or fax, follow these steps:

Step 1: Obtain Form SS-4

To apply via mail or fax, you need to obtain Form SS-4, the Application for Employer Identification Number. You can download this form from the official IRS website or request a copy by contacting the IRS directly.

Step 2: Fill Out the Form

Carefully complete Form SS-4, providing accurate and detailed information about your business entity. Ensure that all fields are filled out legibly to avoid any delays in processing.

Step 3: Include Required Documentation

Along with the completed Form SS-4, you may need to include additional documentation depending on your business type. Common documents requested by the IRS include:

  • For sole proprietors:
    A copy of your Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter.
  • For partnerships:
    A copy of the partnership agreement.
  • For corporations:
    Articles of incorporation.
  • For estates:
    A copy of the decedent’s death certificate.

Refer to the instructions provided with Form SS-4 to determine if any additional documentation is required for your specific business entity.

Step 4: Send the Application

Once you have completed Form SS-4 and gathered the necessary documentation, mail or fax the application to the appropriate IRS address or fax number as provided on the form. Ensure that you send it to the correct IRS processing center based on your location.

Step 5: Wait for Processing

After the IRS receives your application, they will process it accordingly. The processing time for applications submitted by mail or fax may take a few weeks. It is advisable to retain a copy of the application and any supporting documents for your records.

Important Note:

When submitting your application via mail or fax, it is essential to ensure that all information is accurate and complete. Any errors or missing information may result in delays in processing your application.

How Long Does It Take to Get an EIN Number?

The time it takes to receive your EIN number depends on the method you used to apply and the current processing times at the IRS. Here’s a general overview of the processing times for each application method:

  1. Online Application:
    If you applied for an EIN number online, the IRS typically issues the EIN immediately after a successful application. You will receive the EIN number on the confirmation page, which you can print or save for your records.
  2. Mail or Fax Application:
    For applications submitted by mail or fax, the processing time is longer compared to the online method. Typically, it takes around 4-6 weeks for the IRS to process and assign an EIN number for applications received via mail or fax.

During peak periods or if there are any issues with the application, the processing time may be extended. It’s important to ensure that all information is accurate and complete on the application form to avoid any delays.

Important Note:

If you urgently need an EIN number and cannot wait for the processing time, it is recommended to apply online, as it provides the fastest turnaround. Applying by mail or fax should be done with ample time to account for the processing period.


Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a crucial step for businesses operating in the United States. This unique nine-digit identifier, assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), plays a significant role in tax administration and compliance. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have explored the process of obtaining an EIN number and the various methods available.

We began by understanding the importance of an EIN number and why it is essential for businesses. We then delved into what an EIN number is and how it functions as a tax identifier. We discussed the purpose of an EIN number and its significance in areas such as hiring employees, business partnerships, opening bank accounts, and obtaining licenses.

Next, we provided a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an EIN number. We covered the eligibility criteria, necessary information to gather, and the different application methods available, including the convenient online application process. For those who prefer traditional methods, we explained the process of applying via mail or fax.

Additionally, we explored the typical processing times to receive an EIN number based on the application method used. Applying online offers immediate results, while applications submitted by mail or fax may take a few weeks for processing.

Obtaining an EIN number is an important step to ensure legal compliance and proper identification for your business. By following the guidelines and understanding the application process, you can easily acquire an EIN number and confidently proceed with your business endeavors.

Remember to store your EIN number securely and use it for all relevant tax-related activities, such as filing tax returns, making payments, and conducting official business transactions.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to consult with a tax professional or contact the IRS directly for additional guidance.

Best of luck with your business endeavors!


What is an EIN number?
An EIN number, or Employer Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit identification number assigned by the IRS to businesses for tax purposes.

Who needs to obtain an EIN number?
Businesses operating in the United States, including corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, estates, trusts, and other entities, generally need to obtain an EIN number.

How can I apply for an EIN number?
You can apply for an EIN number by completing the application process through the IRS website online, or by mail or fax using Form SS-4.

What information do I need to provide when applying for an EIN number?
When applying for an EIN number, you will need to provide information such as the legal name of your business, business address, responsible party’s information, business structure, and the reason for applying.

How long does it take to receive an EIN number?
If you apply online, you can receive your EIN number immediately after a successful application. For applications submitted by mail or fax, it typically takes 4-6 weeks for processing.

Can I apply for an EIN number if I am not a U.S. resident?
Yes, non-U.S. residents can apply for an EIN number as long as they have a valid reason for doing so, such as conducting business or fulfilling tax obligations in the United States.

Is an EIN number the same as a Social Security Number (SSN)?
No, an EIN number is not the same as a Social Security Number (SSN). An EIN number is used for business entities, while an SSN is used for individuals.

Is it possible to change or cancel an EIN number?
Once an EIN number is assigned, it cannot be canceled or replaced. If changes are needed, you can update your business information with the IRS.

How The Easy Way to Get EIN Number