If you’re a business owner in Dallas Texas, you already know – and if you’re looking to start a business in Dallas, you’ll soon learn – that understanding the local regulations is critical to business success. Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is just one of the many steps that’s required.

An EIN is a nine-digit identifier issued by the IRS that’s like a social security number for a business. It’s often referred to as a “tax ID” or “federal tax ID number.” The EIN assists the IRS in tracking businesses when filing taxes. EIN is also used by banks to verify identity when opening up a business bank account. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all eligible businesses to obtain an EIN.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to obtaining and EIN in the Dallas area.

Step 1: Understand Eligibility Requirements

The first step to obtaining an EIN is understanding the eligibility requirements, as not all businesses are eligible. In order to get an EIN in Dallas, the business must meet the IRS requirements. Generally, the business must either have employees, operate as a corporation or partnership, be required to file an annual tax return, or be involved in any legal formalities.

Step 2: Determine How to Apply

Once you’ve determined that your business is eligible for an EIN, the next step is determining how to apply. There are three main ways to apply for an EIN: mail, fax, and online.

The mail and fax options are free, but they require waiting for the IRS to process the application. The online option requires that you make an online payment to the IRS, and then wait for the IRS to process the application.

Step 3: Apply for the EIN

After selecting your method of submission – mail, fax, or online – it’s time to apply for the EIN. The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out the IRS Form SS-4, either on paper or online. Depending on the method you selected, you may need to submit payment.

Not all applications are accepted – so make sure that you’ve completed the form correctly and have included all of the necessary information.

Step 4: Wait for Your EIN

Once you’ve applied for an EIN, the waiting game begins. If you applied by mail or fax, this wait time can be anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. If you applied online, this wait time can be just 1 to 3 days.

During this time, the IRS will review your application to ensure that all of the information is correct. If the IRS needs more information from you, they will contact you.

Step 5: Filing Taxes

Once you’ve received your EIN, the final step is filing taxes. As a business owner in Dallas, you will need to file taxes both at the local and federal level. This filing process will rely heavily on your EIN, so make sure to keep it safe.

If you need help understanding the local tax regulations, or need help filing taxes, consider working with a lawyer who understands the local regulations.