The SS-4 for LLC form, also known as the Application for Employer Identification Number, is an Internal Revenue Service document that companies use to obtain an employer identification number. The IRS doesn't give you a physical copy of Form SS-4, but they will provide a copy of your EIN assignment letter to keep with your business records.

What is Form SS-4?

There's a lot of paperwork involved when applying for a small business loan. These documents are often complex and require excessive documentation, which can be overwhelming. Some lenders require a copy of IRS Form SS-4 as part of the loan application process.

Form SS-4 or the Application for Employer Identification Number is the form used to apply for an EIN from the IRS. The EIN is required for various business purposes, including opening a business bank account or federal income tax reporting. Essentially, the EIN is what the IRS uses to identify your business, similar to how they use your Social Security number to identify you as an individual.

You will need to apply for an EIN if your business:

  • Hires employees
  • Operates as a partnership or corporation
  • Opens a bank account
  • Needs to obtain a license
  • Applies for business credit cards

The IRS has streamlined the application process by moving it online. Instead of requiring the SS-4 paper form, the IRS now asks a series of questions.

Getting a Copy of Your SS-4 Form

Whether you've been in business a while or you've recently opened shop, the IRS doesn't give you an actual copy of Form SS-4. Instead, they will issue another copy of your EIN assignment letter upon request. This letter serves as your EIN verification and will satisfy prospective financial lenders.

To obtain a copy of your EIN assignment letter, call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 and give them your EIN. You can look up your EIN on your corporate documents or previous company tax returns if you're not sure what it is.

The IRS tax specialist will verify your identity over the phone for security purposes, so they may ask for your business name, commercial address, or your job title within the company. You must be an authorized person in the business, such as a partner, officer, or LLC member, to obtain the EIN over the phone. Once the tax specialist has verified your identity, they will arrange to send a copy of your EIN assignment letter by fax or mail.

Remember, the IRS will send official documents to the business address on file, so make sure to provide an alternate address if you wish to receive it elsewhere.

Although not every lender will ask for a copy of your EIN assignment letter, it's a good idea to have it in your company records for whenever the need arises. If you expect to apply for business financing at any point in the future, it's best to request a copy of the EIN assignment letter now rather than later.

How to Fill Out an SS-4 Form for Your LLC

When filling out an SS-4 form, make sure you include all of your LLCs information in sections 1-7a. Be sure to include a P.O. Box, if applicable, in section 4a. You'll also want to include your company's trade name in section 2 if it is different from your LLCs actual name.

Skip section 3 if it doesn't apply to your business. In section 7b include your Social Security number or the SSN of the LLC owner.

Check “Yes” in section 8a since you're registering an LLC. Include the number of LLC members in section 8b. Enter “1” if it's just you.

Section 9a can be confusing if you're not sure which option to choose. If you're the sole member of your LLC, you'll probably want to check “Other (specify)” and write in the phrase “Disregarded Entity – Single Member LLC.” Consult a lawyer if you're not sure which one to choose. Ignore section 9b.

Section 10 is for designating why you're applying for your LLC. Most people check the first choice, “Started a new business” and include a brief description of services. Include the official date that your business started in section 11. The remaining sections will vary depending on the LLC owner.

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