Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to identify your business and the type of tax returns you file. It is to be used for business purposes only. You should never use your social security number in its place.
An EIN is generally required for all businesses and it is used for all transactions and correspondence with the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA). Download Understanding Your EIN for a complete guide to how your tax ID number works.
How to Apply
You can obtain an EIN by Internet, phone, fax, or mail. The most efficient method is via Internet. The IRS provides a free online service that takes you through an interview-style application. Upon completion you will immediately receive your EIN. Keep in mind, it takes up to two weeks before your number will be permanently recorded by the IRS.
When you apply by phone, you can also obtain an EIN immediately upon completion of your phone application. It is best to prepare in advance by completing Form SS-4, the Application for Employer Identification Number, to be sure you have all the necessary information you’ll need for the application process.
To apply by phone, call (800) 829-4933.
Where to Apply by Fax or Mail
|STEPS||SEND TO||RESPONSE TIME|
||Business located within US:Fax-TIN: 859-669-5760*||Up to 4 days, by return fax|
|Business not within US:Fax-TIN: 215-516-1040*|
||Business located within US:
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
|4 – 5 weeks, by return mail|
|Business not within US:
Attn: EIN International Operation
Philadelphia, PA 19255
* The fax number may change without notice. To confirm the number, call (800) 829-4933. You can also use this number to determine status of a mailed in application.
If you need to pay taxes or file a return prior to receiving your EIN, write “Applied For” in the space provided for the EIN.