Every person working in the United States has an employee identification number. For US citizens, or those on the path to citizenship, this is a social security number. In other cases, this is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. An EIN, or employer identification number, serves the same purpose for a corporation or business. Not sure if you need an EIN? Here is a bit more information to help you decide:
What Does the EIN Look Like? The EIN is a nine-digit number with a dash separating the first two digits from the other seven. If you think that you have filed for an EIN in the past, it should appear on your tax forms.
Who Needs An EIN? If you are running a small business, you likely need an EIN. Anyone who hires employees, has a Keogh plan, or has a corporate partnership needs an EIN number. Also if you are involved in trusts, returns, estates and non-profit organizations you will need an EIN. If you are self-employed as an independent contractor and are the only employee in your business, you may not be required to get an EIN and may be able to use your social security number to file taxes. However, keep in mind that obtaining an EIN as a self-employed individual will provide you with an extra level of protection from fraud.
How Do I Get an EIN?: The quickest and easiest way to get an IRS EIN Tax ID is to do so online. You will need to fill out Form SS-4 and submit the form to the IRS. You also have the option of faxing or mailing the form to the IRS. If you choose to fax or mail your form, however, you will need to wait several weeks to receive your EIN number.
The good news about having to obtain an EIN for your new company is that you only have to do it once. After you receive an EIN, that number can be used to file your taxes every year for a given corporation