When operating a business there is no end to what needs to be done to ensure that it functions smoothly. Oftentimes, important information may be misplaced or simply forgotten in the everyday humdrum of operating a successful business.
One question that may business owners have is “How do I find my EIN number?” It’s essential to have one for a couple of reasons. If your business has employees, is a partnership or corporation, files excise taxes, or withholds taxes for non wage income paid to nonresident aliens then you are required to have an EIN from the IRS.
What is an Employer Identification Number?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is basically a Social Security number (SSN) for your business. It’s also known as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN). It’s a unique nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses for tax reporting.
How do I get an EIN?
You have to apply through the IRS website, but only after you have formed your business. You’ll be asked to provide your company’s formation date and the legal business name. Take into account that you have to register your business and get approval for the company’s name from your state before you can get an EIN.
You also have the option of applying for an EIN via fax or mail by filling in Form SS-4. If you apply by fax, forward your EIN application to fax number (855) 641-6935. If you want to apply by mail, submit it to Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999.
Why do I need to find my business’s EIN number?
There are generally four reasons why you’ll need your business’s EIN including:
- Applying for business loans and credit
- If you plan on hiring employees
- When you need to file your taxes
- If you want to convert an existing business to an LLC
How do I find my EIN online?
If you need to find your EIN, you can simply have a look at the original computer-generated confirmation you received when the IRS first assigned an EIN to your business. For publicly held businesses, the Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR online Forms and Filings database is another search tool.
If your business is registered under the SEC then you can search for your EIN in five short steps:
- Go to the Filing’s page
- Search for the name of the business
- Click on the SEC filing documents
- Find the EIN on the first page
- The Tax ID number is under “IRS No”
How do I find my EIN by phone?
You also have the option of calling the IRS directly to get your EIN Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Business & Speciality Tax Line can be reached on 800-829-4933.
You might want to take into consideration that Mondays are the busiest time to call the IRS so to save some time, it’s best to call on another day.
When you call, expect to be required to provide your Social Security Number and you’ll have to answer some qualifying questions in order to confirm business ownership. If you ask someone else to do this on your behalf, they’ll have to answer answers as well to verify that they are authorized to act on behalf of your business. Once this has been verified, you can request the IRS EIN Department to forward you a copy of the EIN Letter via fax.
How do I find my EIN through business documents?
If you’ve previously filed taxes with the state then you can simply find your EIN in your tax return records. You’ll have needed an EIN to file taxes if your business is one of the following:
- Multi-member LLC
- Partnership with employees
- Single-member LLC with employees
- Sole Proprietorship with employees
You’ll also have an EIN to file taxes if you are one of the following:
- Trustee of a trust
- Executor of an estate
Should you have an accountant, the easiest would be to have him search through your tax returns to find the number for you.
Another option is to have a look at your company’s bank account documents where you’ll find the EIN in the original paperwork as an EIN is required when opening a business bank account. As such, you can also go to your local bank and ask someone to help you find your EIN.
Want to learn more about what to consider when operating a business?
According to the IRS, these are some of the other aspects that business owners need to take into consideration and for which they have provided additional resources to make sure that the business can operate without any hitches:
- Paying Independent Contractors
- What is Taxable and Nontaxable Income?
- Filing and Paying your Business Taxes
- IRS Tax Calendar for Small Businesses and Self-Employed