Tax ID Number for LLC

The IRS uses a tax ID number for LLC (limited liability company), also known as the LLC's employer identification number (EIN), for the determination of the LLC as a business entity for tax purposes. The IRS classifies a limited liability company as a partnership, a corporation, or a taxable disregarded entity – meaning that for tax purposes there is no separation of the business from its owner. Using the employer identification number helps to make completing paperwork for the company go smoothly and fulfills the tax obligations for the LLC.

Do All Limited Liability Companies Need to Have a Tax ID Number?

An employer identification number is required if one of the following is true:

  • An LLC currently has workers employed

  • An LLC has more than one owner

  • A sole-proprietor LLC is on the verge of hiring its first employee

What Is the Significance of Having a Tax ID Number?

For an LLC to open a business banking account, the company must have an employer identification number. The tax ID number gets used on the company's business and tax documents. Banks require a tax ID number for an LLC, so the institution can quickly identify the company.

In addition to providing the EIN, banks will also need a copy of the LLC's articles of organization. The purpose of obtaining this from the company is so the bank can prove the LLC is a legally separate entity from its members.

Another important reason for an LLC to have a tax ID number is related to business relationships. Some vendors refuse to conduct business with an LLC that does not have an employer identification number. It's beneficial for a company to have its tax ID number so the company can purchase products at wholesale price from particular sellers.

What Should an LLC Know About Obtaining a Tax ID Number?

An LLC can get a tax ID number from the IRS with a choice of four methods:

  • By phone and speaking with an IRS representative

  • By visiting the IRS website

  • By fax

  • By mail

When choosing to file by fax or mail, you must submit to the IRS a Form SS-4. Be sure to provide accurate information when completing Form SS-4, such as:

  • Nature of business activities

  • Number of employees

  • Address and Social Security number of an authorized representative of the LLC

When filing over the phone or via website, a tax ID number is issued immediately once you provide all the necessary information to the IRS. After faxing Form SS-4, the IRS will issue the federal tax identification number in four business days. The process takes longer when choosing to apply by mail. Once the IRS receives your Form SS-4, it sends the tax ID number for the LLC within four weeks.

You have the option to choose that a third-party service process your EIN application. However, using a service will come with service fees, while it's completely free to apply directly to the IRS.

How to File for Your Tax ID Number Online Using the IRS Website

The quickest and simplest way to get an employer identification number is by using the online application. If you are going to apply using this method, know that the system is available only at specific times Monday through Friday during the day and evening. You will be providing the same information you would if applying by using the other methods. Online submission is just an electronic version of Form SS-4.

If the LLC does not have a U.S. office, you will not be allowed to use the IRS website to apply for the federal tax ID number.

To apply, do the following easy steps:

1. Go to and type "EIN" in the search box on the site

2. Look for a link that reads "apply online now." Read all the instructions given for obtaining an EIN.

3. Click on the "begin application" button. You will be asked to identify the structure of the company; click on the "limited liability company" button. Be sure to enter all the necessary information once prompted by the system.

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