An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit tax identification number that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns to businesses for tax purposes.
If you’re starting a new business, you’ll need to obtain an EIN number. One question that often arises is how many digits does an EIN number have?
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: An EIN number always has nine digits.
In this article, we’ll explore in more detail what an EIN number is and why it’s essential for businesses. We’ll also discuss how to obtain an EIN number and what to do if you need to change your EIN number.
What is an EIN Number?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses operating in the United States. Think of it as a Social Security number for your business. EINs are used by the IRS to identify taxpayers who are required to file various business tax returns.
Businesses need an EIN number for several reasons. The most common reason is for tax purposes. If your business has employees, is structured as a partnership or corporation, or files certain tax returns, you must have an EIN. Additionally, an EIN is required if you open a business bank account, apply for business licenses or permits, or if you plan to hire independent contractors.
Most types of businesses are required to have an EIN number. This includes sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and Non-Profit Organizations. Even if your business is not required to have an EIN, it may be beneficial to obtain one for tax purposes or to establish credit with vendors and suppliers.
How to Obtain an EIN Number
If you are operating a business in the United States, you will need an Employer Identification Number or EIN. This unique nine-digit number is used to identify your business for tax purposes. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining an EIN number.
Applying for an EIN Number
Fortunately, applying for an EIN number is a relatively simple process. You can apply online, by mail, fax, or phone. The quickest and easiest way to apply is online through the IRS website. The online application is available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
When applying online, you will need to complete the application in one sitting. The application cannot be saved or returned to later. Once you submit your application, you will receive an EIN number immediately.
If you prefer to apply by mail, fax, or phone, you can download and complete Form SS-4. You can find the form on the IRS website. Once you complete the form, you can mail, fax, or phone in your application. The processing time for mail and fax applications is typically four to five business days. Phone applications are processed immediately.
What You’ll Need to Apply for an EIN Number
When applying for an EIN number, you will need to provide certain information about your business. This includes your business name, mailing address, and business structure. You will also need to provide the name and social security number or individual taxpayer identification number of the responsible party for the business.
If you are applying for an EIN number for a partnership, corporation, or LLC, you will need to provide additional information about your business. This includes the number of members or shareholders, the purpose of the business, and the date the business started.
How Long it Takes to Obtain an EIN Number
The processing time for obtaining an EIN number varies depending on the method you choose to apply. If you apply online, you will receive your EIN number immediately. If you apply by mail or fax, it typically takes four to five business days to receive your EIN number. Phone applications are processed immediately.
Once you receive your EIN number, be sure to keep it in a safe place. You will need it to file your business taxes, open a business bank account, and apply for business credit cards.
Obtaining an EIN number is an important step in starting and operating a business in the United States. If you have any questions about obtaining an EIN number, visit the IRS website or consult with a tax professional.
What to Do if You Need to Change Your EIN Number
As a business owner, you might need to change your Employer Identification Number (EIN) for a number of reasons. Maybe you’ve changed your business structure, such as from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, or you’ve taken on a new partner. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know how to change your EIN number.
Reasons Why You Might Need to Change Your EIN Number
- You’ve changed your business structure
- You’ve taken on a new partner
- You’ve filed for bankruptcy
- You’ve changed the name of your business
- You’ve moved your business to a new location
If any of these situations apply to you, you may need to change your EIN number.
How to Change Your EIN Number
Changing your EIN number is a relatively simple process. You’ll need to fill out and submit Form SS-4, which is the same form you used to apply for your EIN number in the first place. Be sure to indicate that you’re changing your EIN number and provide a clear explanation of why you need to change it.
Once you’ve submitted the form, the IRS will review your request and notify you of their decision. If your request is approved, the IRS will issue you a new EIN number.
What to Do After Changing Your EIN Number
After you’ve received your new EIN number, you’ll need to update your business records with the new number. This includes updating your business bank accounts, tax documents, and any other legal documents that reference your EIN number.
It’s also a good idea to notify any vendors or customers that you work with regularly, so they can update their records as well.
In conclusion, an EIN number is a crucial identifier for businesses that allows them to pay taxes and file returns with the IRS. It’s a nine-digit number that’s assigned to businesses for life, and it’s essential to keep your EIN number up-to-date.
If you’re starting a new business, make sure to obtain an EIN number as soon as possible. If you need to change your EIN number for any reason, follow the steps outlined in this article to ensure a smooth transition.
By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to understanding the importance of an EIN number and how to obtain and manage it properly.