Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN Ohio is an Employer Identification Number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify a business or company in Ohio. 

A company doesn't need employees to have an EIN, though the name includes the word "employer." 

Both EINs and Social Security Numbers (SSN) are nine digits, but they are not the same.

To tell SSNs and EINs apart, note that an EIN includes a hyphen between the second and third digits.

Companies may apply for an EIN free of charge through the IRS.

Uses of Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Companies will need an EIN to: 

  • Open a checking, savings, or investment account for the business
  • File business taxes
  • Manage employee payroll
  • Open a business line of credit or loan
  • Open credit cards for the business
  • Complete a business license application

Ways to Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Companies may file for an EIN by: 

  • Mail
  • Fax 
  • Online application with the IRS

Filing for an EIN via mail can take as long as four weeks, and as long as four days via fax. The online application is the most efficient way to file, so that will be our focus.

A company will receive an EIN immediately once the questions on the application have all been answered online, so this is the fastest process. 

The filer can download the EIN and a confirmation number once they're provided so they can then save or print it for records. 

Before applying for an EIN, company member SSNs or ITINs (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) should be ready to include in the online application.

SSNs are needed for U.S. citizens. 

ITINs are required for foreign nationals.

Foreign nationals who may be applying will need to first apply for an ITIN before filling out the application for an EIN, if they don't already have one. If an ITIN is needed, they can visit the IRS website or call 800-829-1040. 

Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online Application

To fill out the EIN application online follow these steps:

  • Go to IRS EIN application website.
  • Find “Apply Online Now” in the middle of the page and click on it.
  • Click “Begin Application” and choose “Limited Liability Company."
  • After clicking "Continue" a second time, enter how many members are part of your LLC.
  • If there is only one member, choose the location of the LLC.
  • Click on “Started a new business” and then “Continue."
  • Choose, “Individual” and, again, “Continue.”
  • Enter name and SSN.
  • Choose, “I am one of the owners, members, or the managing member of this LLC," then click “Continue."
  • Fill out the Principal LLC Address (the physical location of the LLC) and click "Continue."
  • Once the IRS has verified the address, click “Accept Database Version."
  • Fill out the legal name of the LLC, include the LLC suffix, and leave out the comma (example: Pam's Pancakes LLC), the county and state location, and the state in which it was formed (usually the same state of location).
  • Fill out the “start date” of the LLC (the same date used in the Operating Agreement and when those documents were received back from the state).
  • Click “Continue” once all this information is completed and answer the subsequent questions (usually these will all be answered, "no").
  • Double check to make sure nothing applies to your business like manufacturing or selling alcohol or tobacco, or if it will be a gambling establishment.
  • Once these questions are all answered, click "Continue."
  • Answer the questions about the business' activities (this will match the Operating Agreement information).
  • Your LLC might fall under the "other" category, but make sure to read carefully to be sure you select the correct category.
  • Once properly categorized, click “Continue."
  • Answer the following questions accurately according to your particular LLC, and then click, "Continue."
  • Choose if you would like to receive your official EIN letter via mail or online. 

Applicants will usually choose to receive their letters online, as this is the quickest process. Letters can take as long as four weeks to receive by mail. 

Once everything has been reviewed, click "Submit," and see the confirmation sheet with the newly assigned EIN and the LLC's legal name.

Finally, a PDF version of the EIN confirmation letter will be available to download and save or print for records, both saving and printing is recommended.

A few more clicks of the "Continue" button will finish up the online process for obtaining an EIN.

If you need help obtaining an EIN in Ohio, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.