Starting a business means understanding the complexities of the legal system. Understanding the basics of the federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is just one of the many struggles small business owners will encounter. This article is intended to help individuals new to the business world by tackling some of the most common EIN questions. With the help of Los Angeles-based business attorneys, we'll look into the fundamentals of EIN registration and the importance of obtaining an EIN in the first place.

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number, an identification number given out by the Internal Revenue Service that can be used to identify a business. Although the EIN is most commonly used for employing workers, most businesses are legally required to register for one. With the help of a Los Angeles-based business lawyer, understanding the process of acquiring another EIN can become much easier and stress-free.

What is a Federal EIN?

A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that is used to identify a business. It serves several purposes, but it is primarily used to file taxes and open a business bank account. The IRS assigns the EIN to the business upon its filing with the state government as well as to the IRS. The federal EIN also helps the IRS keep track of business tax information and other records, and can be used as a tool for monitoring compliance with other business regulations.

Who Needs an EIN?

Most businesses are legally required to register for an EIN and have one associated with them. Whether you are a corporation, an LLC, or a nonprofit organization, you’re most likely going to need an EIN. This includes any business operating in the United States that does any of the following:

* Employs one or more individuals

* Withholds taxes from employee wages

* Opens a business bank account

* Files business taxes

Even if your business does not do any of the aforementioned activities, you may still need an EIN. Any business that deals in alcoholic beverages, cannabis, firearms and ammunition, lottery tickets, gaming devices, tobacco, or firearms can also be required by law to have an associated EIN.

How Do I Obtain a Federal EIN?

In most cases, the process of obtaining a federal EIN is comprised of two parts: first filing for the EIN through the IRS, and then registering it with the state government.

For businesses located in the State of California, you will need to file with the California Secretary of State (SOS) before you can apply for an EIN. You can do this by downloading the Business Registration Form (Form SI-100) from the SOS website and submitting it with the correct fees.

Once the Business Registration Form is accepted, you will then be able to apply for a federal EIN. This can be done by visiting the IRS website and filling out the online application form. After the form is filled out, you will be given your EIN number through email, which you can then use to fulfill your business's obligations.

It is important to note that you can also register for an EIN without filing the Business Registration Form if your business does not require one. This can be done by simply filling out the online application form and selecting the "no" option when asked about registering with the state.

It is also important to note that if you are a sole proprietor, you may not be required to obtain an EIN. This is because a sole proprietorship uses the proprietor’s social security number as the business’s identification number. However, it is always recommended to consult with a Los Angeles-based business lawyer when making any decisions regarding business legal matters.

Do I Need to Resubmit an EIN When I Change Business Locations?

Generally, businesses that choose to move locations are not required to obtain a new EIN. According to the IRS, businesses are not required to update their EIN if the entity does not change. This includes changes of business address or changes in ownership.

However, it is always a good idea to consult with a Los Angeles-based business lawyer when making a potentially major decision such as changing business locations. A business lawyer can help you ensure that you are up to date on any legal requirements that may come with moving a business and help you avoid potential legal pitfalls.


When starting or changing a business, understanding the details of federal EINs is vital. As evidenced in this article, understanding the importance of an EIN and the process of obtaining one can become an arduous task. However, with the help of experienced Los Angeles business lawyers, understanding the fundamentals of obtaining a federal EIN can become much easier.


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