When your business is ready to form, incorporating in Illinois is often an ideal option. Obtaining a federal employer identification number, also known as an EIN, is the next step necessary before you can obtain a business license or open a business bank account in your name. In this article, we will discuss the steps for how to get started on a federal EIN in Chicago.

What is an EIN and Why Do I Need One?

A federal employer identification number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number used for identification and tax filing purposes. It is required for businesses that are set up as Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs, Trusts, Non Profits, Estates, Churches, etc. An EIN is required to open a business bank account, file taxes, hire employees, apply for business loans or credit cards, or when you need to enter into contracts. It is important to remember that obtaining an EIN does not create a legal business entity, or create any formal legal obligations that come with being a corporation.

How to Apply for a Federal EIN in Chicago

The federal EIN application process is relatively straightforward. The IRS provides the necessary form, Form SS-4, online for free. You can successfully submit an application by telephone or fax, or through the IRS’s website. The completion of the form requires information about the entity, the type of business structure (LLC, Corporation, etc.), and the contact information of the entity’s responsible party (i.e., the person who can be contacted if questions or issues arise).

When preparing to apply for an EIN, keep a few of these things in mind:

• If you are filing for a non-profit or taxation-exempt entity, you will need to include IRS Form 5504 with your application.

• It is important that you verify your legal authorization to submit the application. If you do not have the authority to sign the form, you may have to go through other steps to have someone with the authority grant permission at your company for you to submit the application.

• Make sure to create a record of the entire submission process, including the date of application, the contact information of the person who processed the application, the name of the person who received your EIN information, and the contact information of the person who saw the progress of the application to successful completion.

The processing and response time for an EIN application can vary from a few days to a few weeks. Be aware that, depending on the type of business entity, you may need to obtain other state EINs in addition to the federal one.

Once you successfully submit the form, an EIN will be assigned by the IRS and the IRS will send you an email or physical mailing of confirmation.

Get Help with Your EIN Application from UpCounsel

Oftentimes, individuals seeking legal advice on how to get started on a federal EIN in Chicago can benefit from the assistance of experienced business attorneys. At UpCounsel, we have an immense network of the most experienced and accessible lawyers located in the Chicagoland area who can help small business and large companies work through the application process and double check their applications for any overlooked issues. Our network of lawyers are readily available and experienced in representing all types of businesses and companies across a wide variety of industries.

Now that you have read about the necessary steps for setting up a federal EIN in Chicago, you can now begin the process of creating your own business.


Federal EIN,


IRS Form 5504