Why Do I Need an EIN?
An EIN is a federal identification number issued by the IRS to identify a business entity. EINs are also known as a Federal Tax ID number. Legally, you are required to identify your business with one of two numbers: either your social security number or an employer identification number.
Generally you need an employer identification number when your business:
- Is new
- Hires, or will hire, employees
- Is an LLC or Corporation
- Opens a bank account
- Changes type of organization
If you are a sole proprietor, your social security number can be used on all of your government forms and other official documents, but most small business advisors recommend that you apply for an EIN for these official documents.
Furthermore, most banks require an employer identification number in order to open a business bank account. If you are ready, our business filing experts can help you get started with your paperwork.
An EIN is a federal tax id number issued by the IRS to identify a business entity (similar to a social security number being issued to identify an individual, except that an employer identification number is used to identify a business entity instead of a person).
An EIN is usually necessary when an applicant:
- Starts a New Business
- Hires (or Will Hire) Employees
- Is an LLC or Corporation
- Opens a Bank Account
- Changes Type of Organization
- Purchases an Ongoing Business
- Creates a Trust or Pension Plan
- Is a Withholding Agent for Taxes
If the answer to any of the following questions is "YES" then you should obtain an EIN:
- Do you have employees?
- Do you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership?
- Do you file any of these tax returns: Employment; Excise; or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
- Do you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
- Do you have a Keogh plan?
- Are you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
- Real estate mortgage investment conduits
- Non-profit organizations
- Farmers' cooperatives
- Plan administrators
Legally, you are required to identify your business with one of two numbers: either your Social Security Number or an EIN (Employer Identification Number, a.k.a. Federal Tax ID Number). If you are a sole proprietor, your Social Security Number can be used on all of your government forms and other official documents, but most small business advisors recommend that you apply for an employer identification number and use the EIN number instead. If you are a corporation, LLC, or other state-level entity, you must obtain an EIN because your business is an entirely separate legal entity. Furthermore, banks require an EIN in order to open a business bank account.
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