How to get EIN for LLC is by filing IRS Form SS-4. This can be done by postal mail or online on the website of the IRS. An EIN or Employer Identification Number is also called the Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN) or Tax ID Number and it acts as an identifier of the business to the IRS. The Employer Identification Number is important during filing taxes for LLC employee and owners and may also be required by banks before opening a business bank account for the LLC. Some licensing authorities may also want to know the EIN of the LLC before issuing it a license.

Employer Identification Number: What Is It?

An Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number assigned to entities by the IRS. It is the equivalent of your Social Security Number and it can be given to any LLC on application. The Employer Identification Number is unique to your business and acts as an identifier of your business to tax authorities.

Does Your LLC Need an EIN?

Not all LLCs are required to have Employer Identification Numbers. LLCs with the following circumstances need to have an EIN:

  • LLCs with more than one member
    An EIN will be useful when filing information returns for the LLC using Form 1065. The EIN may also be needed by the LLC members when they are filing their personal income taxes.
  • LLCs that have employees
    The LLC will need to withhold payroll taxes including Medicare and Social Security taxes and forward these taxes to the IRS. The LLC will therefore need an EIN for this filing.
  • LLCs that are taxed as corporations
    When an LLC chooses to be taxed as a C corporation, it must file federal corporate tax returns. The LLC would need an EIN for this filing. Even LLCs that choose to be treated as S corporations must file information returns and they need Employer Identification Numbers too.

Although single-member LLCs that do not have employees are not required to get an EIN, it is a good practice to get the EIN anyway. Your LLC's EIN might be needed when opening a business bank account or getting a loan. Some investors, suppliers, and customers may also feel more confident dealing with an LLC that has an Employer Identification Number.

How to Get an EIN

The process of obtaining an Employer Identification Number has been simplified in recent years and is done by filing Form SS-4 to the IRS. The form can be filed online or printed and submitted to the IRS by postal mail or fax. Applying for an EIN is free of charge when done online.

The application can also be done by calling the IRS on a number dedicated to this purpose. The calling option is only for international applicants or those who have no business or permanent home address in the US.

The IRS will assign your LLC an EIN immediately if you apply online but the process will likely take a number of days if you file by postal mail. The EIN application form will require the following details:

  • The names and Social Security Numbers of the owners.
  • The projected wages of the employees or owners.
  • The responsible party of the LLC. This is a person with authority in the LLC and is usually the majority interest holder or someone assigned to this position by the LLC members.
  • The name, address, and trade names of the LLC.
  • The LLC's expected number of employees.
  • The reason for applying for an EIN.
  • The date the LLC was started.
  • Accounting year info of the LLC.
  • The principal line of business of the LLC.
  • The number of members in the LLC.
  • Whether the LLC was organized in the US or not.
  • The date the LLC paid its first wages.

When Does Your EIN Expire?

Your LLC's EIN is permanent and has no expiry date. For LLCs that are not required to obtain an EIN, it is important to note that if you go ahead and get an EIN, your EIN will expire if you don't use it to file federal tax returns at least once in three years.

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