What Is a Tax ID Number in NC?

A tax ID number in NC is similar to an EIN. An EIN is an acronym that stands for Employer Identification Number. It is a number issued to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and not the State of North Carolina.  An EIN is also called a Federal Tax ID number or Tax ID number (TIN). Think of a TIN exactly like a social security number. An SSN is an identifying number for a person to the IRS. An EIN functions the same way for a business.

Despite what the name implies, having an EIN does not require the business to have employees. It is simply for identification purposes.  It's a nine-digit number, with the first seven digits followed by a hyphen and the final two digits. An EIN allows a business to:

  • Open checking and savings accounts
  • Open business lines of credit or credit cards
  • File taxes
  • Handle payroll

How do I Apply for an EIN?

Getting an EIN is free if you go to the IRS directly. Waiting until your LLC filings are approved first is recommended. Apply by mail, online, or via fax.  

The process for applying for an EIN is virtually the same for any entity. For an LLC the process is as follows. 

  • Navigate to the IRS website and find the EIN application selection, select Start, select the first of the options, and press continue. 
  • Choose Individual, select the next page, and confirm that you are an owner, member, or managing member of the LLC.
  • On the next page, you will enter your principal LLC address; this is also where the LLC is physically located, and if you have a mailing address that is different than the principal address, you will enter that as well. 
  • Accept the location as listed and follow the rest of the instructions on the screen to finish the process.

Note that applying by fax takes up to four days and mail up to four weeks. U.S. residents need their SSN to apply for a tax ID. Non-U.S. citizens need to apply for and obtain an ITIN prior to applying for an EIN.

What Is a North Carolina Tax ID?

North Carolina has a Department of Revenue that issues its own state tax ID number to businesses. It's designed to cover income tax withholding for employees and a state-specific machinery, equipment, and manufacturing use tax.

How do I get a North Carolina State Tax ID?

In order to get a North Carolina state tax ID number, your business must have an EIN first. In many cases, businesses will receive a state ID quickly after filing online, though it takes up to 10 business days.

In addition to an EIN, corporations have to be registered with the Secretary of State's Office and have a registration number. For this process, you will need to know or have handy the information for any tax accounts, licenses, or permits. The North Carolina Business Registration form (NC-BR) also must be filled out in ink or online if the process has not been completed already.

Are There Other Requirements for Businesses in North Carolina?

Yes. Businesses must register for and have a sales tax permit if their business has an office or business space in the state, employees, agents, or other representatives, or any other space used by the business in North Carolina on a temporary or permanent basis.

Like a state tax ID and business registration, a sales tax application can be completed online or by mail. Submitting an SSN, FEIN, and the NC Secretary of State Number is a requirement. In addition, the name of the business, address, phone number, start date, and business type are also needed. A responsible person or partner, their name, title, SSN, and address is also required if applicable.

Online filers will receive their sales tax permit right away. A confirmation follows by mail in five business days. Mail filers should expect to receive their ID within 10 business days. Once it is filed, the sales tax permit does not have an expiration or renewal date. In the event that the business moves, the Department of Revenue must be notified by filling out and submitting a change of address form. Otherwise, everything stays as it was originally filed.

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