It can be highly advantageous to organize your small business as a limited liability company, or LLC. An LLC is a separate legal entity, with assets and debts that are distinct from the assets and debts of the individuals operating the LLC. Because an LLC is a separate legal entity, you must register your LLC with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS generally requires all businesses, including LLCs, to obtain an Employee Identification Number, or EID.
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Choose a method for obtaining an EID. The IRS allows individuals to apply an EID for their business by filing online, by fax or mail. If applying online, use the IRS EIN Assistant (see Resources). If filing by fax or mail, download and use Form SS-4 (see Resources).
Fill out the EIN Assistant or Form SS-4. In lines 1 through 7b, provide personal information about your LLC. This may include the name of your LLC, trade name, mailing address for your LLC, the county and state where your LLC’s principal business office is located, your name and Social Security number. Indicate in line 8a that your company is an LLC, and provide the number of members, or owners, and indicate whether your LLC was organized in the United States. In line 9a, check the type of entity that your LLC is being taxed as. Generally, an LLC is taxed by the IRS as either a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. In line 10, indicate the reason for obtaining an EIN. In line 11, provide the date when the business was created. In line 12, indicate the closing month of your company’s accounting year. In line 13, indicate the highest number of expected employees in the next year. Check the box in line 14 if you expect your LLC’s tax liability to be less than $1,000. Indicate in line 15 when your LLC first paid wages. Indicate in line 16 and 17 the principal activity and types of services provided by your LLC. Indicate on line 18 if your LLC has previously applied for an LLC. You have the option of indicating a third party recipient for your EIN. Sign and date the form.
File your application for an EIN. If using the EIN Assistant, follow the on-screen directions for filing your application. If filing by mail or fax, use the appropriate mailing address or fax number on the IRS website (see Resources). There is no filing fee.