Employer Identification Number | What is an EIN?

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Are you starting a new Limited Liability Company? You’ve probably come across the term EIN. What is an EIN? It’s an Employer Identification Number. An essential tool in running business affairs, the EIN is like a social security number for your LLC.

IRS assigns EINs to businesses operating in the United States for identification purposes. Equally crucial for all business types, from Corporates to partnerships and even non-profit organizations, EINs simplify organizing your business’s tax affairs.

For your LLC, the EIN identifies your business to the IRS and offers protection for your personal information. Without an EIN, you’d have to use your Social Security Number (SSN) for business affairs, potentially compromising your personal information. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you understand an EIN and how to apply for it. Ensure to read the article until the end!

Understanding EIN For Your LLC

So, you’re starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? That’s excellent news! As you take the initial steps in your entrepreneurial journey, we’d like to help guide you through the maze of tax IDs and paperwork. One of the key elements you’ll encounter in this process is the EIN or Employer Identification Number. Let’s demystify this number and its importance to your LLC.

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To begin with, an EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It’s crucial for multiple purposes, known commonly as the business equivalent of a Social Security Number. Here are a few of them:

  • Filing business tax returns
  • Opening a business bank account
  • Applying for business permits and licenses

In essence, for most businesses, including LLCs, it’s a vital requirement.

However, there’s a common misconception we’d like to clear up. Some believe their LLC’s EIN and personal Social Security Number (SSN) could be the same; they’re not. Rather, while your SSN is personal to you, the EIN firmly stays with the business entity and pertains to its tax affairs and business operations.

With this understanding of an EIN’s role and its importance for your LLC, we trust you’re better equipped on your entrepreneurial journey. Clear information leads to confident decisions, and that’s exactly our aim with this post. Strengthen your business’s foundation with this essential knowledge.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Does an LLC Need an EIN?

Yes, an LLC needs an EIN or Employer Identification Number, especially if it has employees or consists of multiple members. More importantly, an EIN is required for an LLC to file business tax returns, open a business bank account, and establish credit for the business.

The need for an LLC EIN will vary depending on the type of business. Here, we’ve included the three most typical LLC business kinds and their EIN needs.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship usually doesn’t need an EIN unless it has employees or pays excise taxes. In these cases, the owner of the LLC can use their Social Security Number (SSN) instead for federal tax purposes.

However, obtaining an EIN is often encouraged, even if not required. An EIN helps to separate business transactions from personal transactions, which helps to maintain separate liability between the business and the owner. Additionally, many banks require an EIN to open a business bank account.

Single-Member LLC

An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is not always required for a single-member LLC. Single-member LLCs with no employees can use the member’s Social Security Number for tax purposes. However, if a single-member LLC has employees or is required to file excise tax returns, then an EIN is necessary.

But, even if not required, obtaining an EIN for a single-member LLC is often recommended. It can help protect personal information by not using a Social Security Number for business transactions. Banks often require an EIN to open a business bank account. Also, it offers a level of professionalism and legitimacy to the business.

Mult-Member LLC

A multi-member LLC must have an EIN, regardless of whether it has employees. According to the IRS, a business must obtain an EIN if it operates as a corporation or partnership. Multi-member LLCs are typically treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes, thus necessitating an EIN.

The EIN is utilized by the IRS for tax purposes but also by banks for opening business accounts and vendors or other business entities when they report payments to the LLC. It helps to establish the LLC as a separate legal entity distinct from its owners.

How to Obtain an EIN?


Cracking the code on obtaining an EIN for an LLC isn’t as daunting as it may sound. First off, let’s clarify what an EIN is. Short for Employer Identification Number, it’s a unique, nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It functions like a Social Security number for your LLC and’s used for tax purposes. So, it’s a must-have for every US-based Limited Liability Company.

The process to get your EIN is pretty straightforward. First, determine your eligibility. You need a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to apply for an EIN. You can apply the day you start your LLC; there’s no need to wait for official paperwork.


Once you’ve made certain you’re eligible, it’s just a matter of applying. The simplest, fastest way is directly through the IRS website. It’s free and generally takes less than fifteen minutes. Just fill out Form SS-4. The IRS then processes this information and assigns your EIN.

The application of an EIN can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

Remember, this EIN is unique to your LLC and acts as an identification for tax purposes. So please keep it safe, as it’s an important part of your business. Please do not share it unnecessarily. It’s not something you want falling into the wrong hands.

Decoding and obtaining an EIN for an LLC is about understanding what it is and navigating the steps needed to attain it. You’ll have your EIN in no time with patience and due diligence.

Can I Get a Free EIN?

You can get an EIN for free directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can apply online on the IRS website if your business is in the United States or U.S. Territories. The service is available during specific hours and provides you with your EIN immediately upon completing the application.

You can also apply for an EIN by fax or mail using Form SS-4, but the processing time is longer. Generally, obtaining an EIN from the IRS is completely free and does not require any inclusion of service fees. Furthermore, it’s important to remember that the requirement and need for an EIN may vary based on the structural and functional specifics of the business and the state it is located in.

However, watch out for third parties or websites that may charge unnecessary fees to obtain an EIN on your behalf. When planning an LLC, you can hire the Best LLC Services with EIN Services. We reviewed these services with top features and prices for you to check out!

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Integral Role of an EIN in Your LLC

Wrapping up, it’s clear that an EIN is not just a number for your LLC. This unique identifier serves multiple purposes, making it integral to your company. Here are the key takeaways:

  • An EIN is a tax ID for your LLC, requiring filing various state and federal tax returns.
  • Hiring employees, establishing bank accounts, obtaining business licenses, and safeguarding personal identity are necessary.

Ultimately, an EIN positions your LLC for formal conduct of business operations. Thus, managing without one isn’t a feasible option. And while the process might seem daunting at first, it’s quite straightforward and, most importantly, free.

Remember, it’s not just about getting an EIN; it’s about knowing what it is, why you need it, and how it benefits your LLC. Through understanding, you can make informed decisions that help your business thrive.

What is an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns for business tax filing and reporting purposes.

Do you have to pay for an EIN?

No, you can obtain an EIN from the IRS for free.

Do all businesses need an EIN?

Most businesses need an EIN, but sole proprietors without employees may not need one.

How do I apply for an EIN?

You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS, either online, by fax, or by mail.

Can I use my EIN instead of my SSN?

You can use your EIN instead of your SSN for most business transactions.

Do I need a new EIN if I change my business name?

Generally, business name changes do not require a new EIN.

Do I need a new EIN if my business changes its structure?

Generally, changing the business structure, such as from a sole proprietorship to an LLC, will require a new EIN.

Do I need an EIN for a single-member LLC?

A single-member LLC without employees is not required to have an EIN, but it’s often recommended.

How long does it take to get an EIN?

If you apply for an EIN online, you can receive it immediately. If by fax, it could take up to four business days. If by mail, it could take up to four weeks.

Can I cancel or change my EIN after it’s been assigned?

No, an EIN cannot be canceled or changed.

Do EINs expire?

No, EINs never expire.

Can two businesses share an EIN?

No, EINs are specific to each business entity.

Can I look up a company by its EIN?

Certain databases allow you to look up a company by its EIN.

Can multiple LLCs under a holding company use the same EIN?

No, each LLC must have its own EIN.

How do I know if my EIN is still active?

You can contact IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line to verify the status of your EIN.

What can someone do with my EIN?

Someone can use your EIN to open business bank accounts, apply for business permits or file tax returns on your behalf.

How can I protect my EIN?

Limit access to your EIN, verify the identity of those asking for it, and report any suspicious activities to the IRS.

Can I use my EIN to apply for credit?

Yes, your EIN can be used to apply for business credit.

Should my business have both tax and state ID numbers?

Your business should have a federal tax ID number or EIN and a state ID number if your state requires one.

Can I get an EIN without a business license?

Yes, you can apply for an EIN even if you don’t have a business license.


That’s all we have for you on EINs for LLCs. We hope this clarifies why the EIN is essential to successfully handling your LLC’s business needs. Empowered with this knowledge, we believe you’re better equipped to stride into your business future confidently. Remember, we’re always here to help guide you through the complexities of business operations, so never hesitate to reach out for more information!

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