Business owners often ask: Where do I find my LLC number? An LLC number, also known as an EIN or tax identification number, is a nine-digit number assigned to each business entity as identification for taxation purposes. An LLC number is the business equivalent of a personal Social Security number.

Is an EIN Necessary?

Every business entity requires an EIN, except for partnerships. Partnerships don't require EINs, since the partners are personally responsible for the liabilities and debts of the business. The EIN is a form of identification number used by the IRS to monitor the tax account of each business entity.

Do You Need to Have Employees to Have an EIN?

A business entity doesn't necessarily need to have employees to obtain the EIN, although it stands for employer identification number.

What Is the Importance of an EIN?

An EIN is required for several business functions. You need an EIN for some of the following:

  • Filing tax returns
  • Opening business bank accounts
  • Handling salaries if you have employees
  • Securing business loans or lines of credit
  • Obtaining credit cards for your business entity
  • Applying for certain business licenses and others

Should You Wait Until Your LLC Is Approved by the State Before Obtaining Your EIN?

It's advisable to wait until the state has approved your LLC before filing for an EIN so you can be sure your LLC name is still available and prevent being assigned another entity's EIN.

Is It Easy to Apply for EIN Cancellation?

Canceling an EIN can be a difficult process.

Is an EIN the Same as a Social Security Number?

The only similarity between an EIN and a Social Security number is that both have nine digits. However, an EIN has two digits, followed by a hyphen, which is followed by the remaining seven digits.

How Much Does an EIN Cost?

Obtaining an EIN is free if you apply directly to the IRS. However, you may pay about $50-$100 if you apply through third-party websites.

How Do You Obtain an EIN?

There are three methods of obtaining an EIN:

  1. By mail, which can take up to four weeks before you get your EIN.
  2. By fax, which takes four business days.
  3. Through the IRS's online questionnaire, which takes 15 minutes. If you applied online, you would be issued your EIN immediately after completing the questionnaire.

What Businesses Can Get an EIN by Phone?

Only exempt organizations, such as nonprofits and foreign companies, are eligible to apply for an EIN over the phone.

What Should You Do if You Apply for an EIN Online?

If you applied for an EIN through the IRS website, you need to save and print your EIN and the confirmation letter so you can have copies to attach to your LLC documents.

Steps in Applying for an EIN Online

Applying for an EIN online involves the following steps:

  • When you log onto the site, you will be directed to enter all the required information. A user-friendly interface guides you through the application process.
  • You will be asked to identify your business entity's legal status, such as a sole proprietor, LLC, or partnership.
  • You will be redirected to a new screen when you click the relevant button.
  • The second question seeks to clarify the answer to the first question by asking you to define your business.

What Information Do You Need for the Online Application?

You need the following information when applying online for an EIN:

  • U.S. citizens require a Social Security number.
  • Foreign nationals require an ITIN, or individual tax identification number. If you don't have an ITIN, you need to apply to the IRS for one before applying for an EIN.

How Do You Find Your EIN?

The following are some of the ways of finding your EIN:

  • Ask an organization with which you have exchanged your EIN in the past, such as your bank.
  • Search through your mail for the confirmation letter sent by the IRS after your EIN application.
  • Check the EDGAR database of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Contact your state's department of revenue, as they keep copies of business tax forms.
  • Check box 15 of the W-2 form issued by the business if you work or have worked for the company in the past.
  • Contact the company directly.
  • Use paid services, but this may not be necessary, as company EINs are easily accessible in the public domain.

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