Obtaining an Employer Identification Number
Introduction to EINs
Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service. Beware of websites on the Internet that charge for this free service.
All EIN applications (mail, fax, electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor. This individual or entity, which the IRS will call the “responsible party,” controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity.
Three Steps to Obtaining Your EIN
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
You may apply for an EIN online if your principal business is located in the United States or U.S. Territories.
The person applying online must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN).
You are limited to one EIN per responsible party per day. The “responsible party” is the person who ultimately owns or controls the entity or who exercises ultimate effective control over the entity. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity.
Step 2: Understand the Online Application
- You must complete this application in one session, as you will not be able to save and return at a later time.
- Your session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity, and you will need to start over.
Step 3: Submit Your Application
- After all validations are done you will get your EIN immediately upon completion. You can then download, save, and print your EIN confirmation notice.
The Internet EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN. Once the application is completed, the information is validated during the online session, and an EIN is issued immediately. The online application process is available for all entities whose principal business, office or agency, or legal residence (in the case of an individual), is located in the United States or U.S. Territories.