Employer Identification Number (aka EIN)
EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (AKA EIN)
An EIN Number is a nine-digit number [similar to the Social Security Number (SSN)] that the IRS assigns to small business entities, large business entities, non-profit organizations, business trust, estate trust, and some other associations.
- It is also known as a Corporate Taxpayer Id Number or a Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN).
- This unique nine-digit number is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify a business operating in the United States.
- An EIN is not an authorization to live or work in the United States and is not presentable as a form of personal identification.
Who needs one?
- All banks will require your company to provide an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to open a business bank account in the US.
- Your company would also be required to obtain an EIN if you will have wage earning employees in the US.
- If you will be opening your bank account outside the US, and will not have employees in the United States, it may not be necessary for your company to obtain an EIN.
How do I obtain an EIN?
US Citizens with Social Security Number
- For companies headed by a US Citizen (or a Resident Alien who already has a SSN or ITIN) DBI can electronically file an application for an EIN with the IRS and obtain the EIN for your new Delaware Corporation or Delaware LLC. (If you've already received an EIN number from the IRS for another company, we will not be able to obtain a new EIN number electronically.)
- This process would be initiated AFTER the new company is registered with the Delaware Division of Corporations and before the bank account is opened.
- The process can usually be completed in 1 to 2 business days. (Some additional information may be requested).
Non-Residents, Non-Citizens, US Resident Aliens (new regulations effective May 13, 2019)
- If you order EIN Obtainment Service for Non-Resident Non-Citizens, DBI will prepare the application form with the information you provide and will file the application form with the IRS on your behalf.
- Since the IRS has a more involved vetting process for foreign ownership of limited liability companies, corporations and other entities; the process takes longer to obtain an EIN number.
- If you have not received your EIN, you may call 1-267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. The person making the call must be authorized to receive the EIN and answer questions concerning the Form SS-4 (PDF), Application for Employer Identification Number. Be prepared to wait on hold.
- It takes 30-45 days to acquire an EIN number for non-US-residents. The IRS has a special department for vetting non-US-residents.
- EIN Status Calls: We do NOT call the IRS on your behalf. The IRS on hold times times are between 30 and 60 minutes or more. Early morning is the best time to call.
Frequently Asked Questions
My company won't have any employees, can I still get an EIN?
- Although the name may seem misleading, you are not required to have employees to apply for an EIN.
- If you need an EIN for banking purposes you will be assigned an EIN even if you have no employees.
If I apply for an EIN, does that mean I have to start paying US Federal Income Taxes?
- Obtaining an EIN is not a factor taken into consideration when determining if you will owe US Federal Income Taxes.
- US citizens who have a One-Member LLC or an S-Corporation will file any profits or losses on their personal income tax return.
- C-Corporations with US-Source Income will file a Corporate Income Tax Return.
- Non-Resident Non-US citizens who have no US-Source Income will not owe US Federal Income Tax.
- If you are not sure if you will owe Corporate or Personal Income Tax we recommend that you consult a tax adviser.
Can I get an EIN for each Separate Series in my Series LLC?
- IRS Private Letter Ruling 200803004 established that each Separate Series in a Series LLC may obtain its own separate EIN.
- It is best practice for each Separate Series to have its own bank account or brokerage account to satisfy the below criteria for establishing separate liability:
- Each Separate Series must maintain its own separate and distinct records.
- The assets of each Separate Series must be held separately in the name of the sub-company and in the sub-company’s own account.
- Therefore, if a Separate Series will hold assets in a bank account or brokerage account it will be necessary to obtain an EIN for that Series.
What is the deadline to apply for an EIN?
- If you will have wage earning employees in the US it is best to obtain your EIN before the first payroll runs.
- If you will be using a commercial payroll manager they may request that you apply sooner.
- If you will not have employees or do not have any yet, and have no immediate plans to open a bank account, you may wait until the need arises.
- IMPORTANT: If you intend to elect S-Corporation Status for your corporation or C-Corporation Status for your LLC there is a deadline to file the appropriate election form.
- If you wish to obtain tax-exempt status for your non-profit organization you must also file the necessary applications.
- Obtaining an EIN does not afford your company S-Status, C-Status or Tax Exempt Status and does not take the place of filing the necessary election form.
What is a Social Security Number (SSN, SS#)?
- A Social Security Number is a nine-digit number assigned to US Citizens and to non-citizens authorized to work in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security.
- An SSN is not the same as an EIN or an ITIN. These are three different types of Tax Identification Numbers.
What is an ITIN?
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit identification number that the IRS assigns to resident and non-resident aliens who will owe Income Tax to the United States as individuals.
- An ITIN is not an authorization to work in the United States.
- An ITIN is not the same as an EIN or an SSN. These are three different types of Tax Identification Numbers that the IRS issues.
- ITIN numbers can take 7-12 weeks to obtain. Plan accordingly.
- Click here for more information about acquiring an ITIN number.
What is a Resident Alien?
- For the purposes of this discussion a Resident Alien is a person who holds a Green Card or Visa permitting them to live in the United States.
What does the Responsible Party do?
- The “responsible party,” controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets.
What is the name of the form to apply for the Employer Identification Number?
- Form SS-4 is used to apply for an employer identification number. This form is also known as an EIN Application. You can obtain this form here. This will open a new page with the IRS. You'll need the Adobe Reader software to download this form.
We hope that this page has been helpful to you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-423-2993 or 302-996-5819. Thank you for your interest in Employer Identification Number application form.
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