What Is An EIN?
The term EIN is commonly used interchangeably with TIN. A TIN, otherwise known as a tax identification number, is a unique number issued to a business, person, or other legal entity. There are several types of Tax Identification Numbers to include an Employee Identification Number (EIN), a social security number (SSN), or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). These unique nine-digit numbers are used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and many other institutions such as banks and government entities to help identify a person, business or other legal entity.
When Do Businesses Need An EIN?
Businesses need an EIN for almost everything they do. Whether you form a business entity, a trust, operate as a sole proprietorship, or self-employed, we recommend all business owners not wishing to use their Social Security Number as their TIN apply for an EIN as soon as they begin to operate.
What Are EINs Used For?
Whether operating as a sole proprietor, self-employed or as a business entity, EINs are used almost daily. From filing a tax return or submitting a document to the IRS or other government entity, to opening a bank account or applying for a loan or credit, EINs are used to identify the individual or business providing the record.
When Do You Need Another Company’s EIN?
EINs are regularly used to identify the existence of an entity by many institutions and government bodies. Thus, you may need a company’s EIN when seeking to validate/verify their information. Some of the most common places you would need a company’s EIN is when preparing a Form 1099 to submit to the IRS, preparing a business’ tax return, or looking to process an important application such as opening a bank account, a loan application, or insurance underwriting.
Why Are EINs Beneficial To Have?
An EIN is a unique identifier to your business or legal entity. Often times, individuals want to protect their Social Security Numbers (and rightfully so). Using an EIN to identify your business allows you to protect your personal social security number while still maintaining a recognized and accepted identifier as you conduct your affairs.
How To Apply For An EIN
Applying for an EIN is done directly through the IRS website and by using Form SS-4 Application for Employee Identification Number. The Form, as well as instructions to complete the form can be found at the following links: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf (application); https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iss4.pdf (instructions)
Additionally, the IRS allows individuals to apply for a new EIN directly online. The process takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes and you can download your EIN confirmation letter immediately. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online Using this link, you simply choose the “Apply Now” button in the middle of the page and complete the application.