What Happens to Your EIN When Dissolving a Corporation?

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

What Happens to Your EIN When Dissolving a Corporation?

By Stephanie Kurose, J.D.

An employer identification number (EIN) is like a Social Security identifier for your business. It is a unique, nine-digit number that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns to your business for federal tax purposes and other correspondence with the IRS. An EIN is permanent: you cannot cancel or close an EIN. Thus, even if a corporation is dissolving, or "winding down," the EIN remains. The IRS can then refer to the EIN to easily locate the business's tax filings, if it ever needs to in the future.

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An EIN Is Permanent and Unique to a Business

One of the steps of forming a business is to apply for an EIN with the IRS. An EIN is required to file federal and state taxes, and some banks require an EIN to open up a business bank account. Once an EIN has been assigned, it is attached to that business in perpetuity. Even if the new business is never started up, fails, or dissolves and never files a tax return, the EIN is never reused or reassigned.

If the business receives an EIN but later determines that it is not needed, the IRS does not cancel the EIN, but it can close your business account. If the business is later revived in the future, the EIN can be used again.

Closing a Business Account with the IRS

If you would like to close your business account with the IRS, an authorized member of the company must send the IRS a letter that includes:

  • The legal name of the business entity
  • The EIN and a copy of the original assignment notice, if you still have it
  • The address of the business
  • The reason for closing the account

The letter should be sent to the IRS location in Cincinnati, Ohio. Before the IRS can close your account, the business must file the appropriate tax returns, if relevant. To ensure that all of the requirements are met to close your account, the IRS provides a business-closing checklist on its website.

Dissolving a Company

There are a handful of steps to take when formally dissolving a business. One of the main requirements is to file Corporate Dissolution or Liquidation (Form 966). This form must be filed within 30 days from the date of the formal decision—typically a formal vote by the business's members—to dissolve the company.

Form 966 requires basic information such as contact information for the business, the EIN, and where and when the business was formed.

It should be noted that there are likely additional state requirements for formally dissolving your business. The majority of states have a specific form to fill out, but you should always check with the state agency that regulates businesses, usually the Secretary of State, to ensure you have fulfilled all of the requirements.

Keep in mind that because an EIN exists forever as your business's identification number, if the business is revived for any reason, the EIN can continue to be used.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.