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Do I need a tax ID number?

If your LLC or corporation does business of any kind, you will need to obtain an EIN. All corporations must have a federal tax ID number to do business, and there are only rare situations (a holding company that does not pay tax of any kind) where an LLC wouldn’t need an EIN. Your tax ID number will be required to fill out payroll reports, pay taxes, open a business checking account, etc. However, a sole proprietorship with no employees that doesn’t file any excise or pension plan tax returns doesn’t need an EIN. In this instance you would simply use your social security number in place of the EIN.

What is an EIN?

An EIN, also known as a Employer Identification Number, is a number assigned to a corporation or LLC by the IRS for purposes of taxation. Think of the EIN as a Social Security Number for your business. Most banks require that you obtain a EIN as a prerequisite to opening a bank account regardless of whether your company will have employees.

How do I get an EIN?

Keep it simple and hire Active Filings to incorporate your business, and we’ll acquire your EIN in 24 hours or less. When you order our Sprinter or Finisher plans, EIN obtainment is included. However, if you want to acquire an EIN yourself, you can do so for free. Simply visit the IRS website, complete a questionnaire, and if you have a US social security number you’ll have your EIN for free in about 10 minutes. You can also find IRS form SS-4 here. You can mail or fax the form in old school style if you wish, but filing online or hiring Active Filings to obtain your EIN is definitely the fastest and most efficient way. If you are a not a US citizen or do not have a social security number, the process can be much more time consuming.

Can I get an EIN if I’m a non-US citizen?

Yes, you can get an EIN if you’re a non-US citizen.

You can obtain an EIN as a non-US citizen whether you currently do have a business you’d like to move/expand to the US or do not have a business yet and plan to start one in the US. Much like US citizens, non-US citizens needing an EIN can acquire one for free through the IRS, or with the help of Active Filings if you choose to incorporate your business through us as well.

Do I need a Social Security Number to obtain an EIN?

No, you don’t need an SSN to obtain an EIN.

An SSN and an EIN are uniquely-identifying numbers that fall under the umbrella term Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), and the SSNs are meant for individuals while the EINs are usually meant for entities. An EIN doesn’t necessarily depend on an SSN.

What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax-related business identity number for your business, and is issued by the IRS usually to individuals who aren’t able to get SSNs. The form W-7 is used to apply for an ITIN. An ITIN is required for those who aren’t eligible for an SSN but must file a US tax return. Using an ITIN will simplify the process for obtaining an EIN.

How do I get an EIN if I’m a non-US citizen?

Non-US citizens without a taxpayer ID, such as an SSN or ITIN, cannot apply for an EIN using the IRS’s online form. Instead, they will need to apply for an EIN from the IRS by mail or fax (form SS-4) or telephone. Applying for an EIN by telephone is an exclusive method for international applicants. If filing by phone, it’s a good idea to fill out the SS-4 form before calling to ensure you have all the required information ready.


For an affordable fee, Active Filings can obtain your company’s EIN, even when you don’t have an SSN or ITIN, if you use our incorporation service. Sign up today!