Getting a EIN: IRS Form SS-4
All employers, partnerships, estates, trusts or nonprofit agencies require an Employer Identification Number, which is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. The Employer Identification Number is required in order to apply for a business license, as long as for banking and tax reporting reasons. It is not used to replace a social security number.
In order to receive an Employer Identification Number, an individual must fill out Form SS-4. The best way to go about filling out the SS-4 is to first read the instructions that come with the form. It provides line-by-line steps as well as examples to filling out the SS-4.
More instructions and tips for filling out the SS-4:
• Fill out only one SS-4. A sole proprietor only needs one, regardless of how many businesses are operated or how many trade names the company uses.
• If a sole proprietorship later incorporates or goes into a partnership, it does require a new employee identification number.
• In an affiliated group, each corporation must have its own employee identification number.
• Black or blue ballpoint pens are the best to fill out the SS-4. Other colors such as red are more difficult to read.
• Fill out the first section of the SS-4 that asks for the business’ legal name and location. A home-based business would use the home address.
• Check off the correct type of entity that the SS-4 is for. These can include partnerships, sole proprietors, corporations, estates, churches, governments, and trusts. The instruction booklet can help explain the differences between these.
• Make sure to have business records on hand when filling out SS-4. The form requires the exact starting date of the business, accounting year dates as well as the first date the business started paying employees their wages.
• Pick the division of labor that best applies to the business. If none are quite applicable, use the space provided.
• Date and sign the copy of the SS-4 and either make a digital or hard copy of it for personal records.
• Mail the completed SS-4 to the correct regional address as shown in the instruction booklet.
Applying with a SS-4
Applications can be sent by telephone, fax, or mail, depending on how quickly an individual needs an employee identification number. It is important to only use one method in order to prevent receiving more than one number for an entity.
The application can also be done online through the IRS website where it also provides a way to save, print, and view the employee identification number assignment notice after a session is completed. This is restricted to applicants located in the United State or United States territories.