How Should an LLC Business File for an EIN Number?

By Anna Assad

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is a specific number assigned to a business by the IRS. The number is used to identify the business to the IRS and corresponding state tax departments for tax purposes. A limited liability company must apply for an EIN if required to do so under IRS or state tax rules, but the best EIN application method depends on how quickly the EIN is needed and the availability of the person applying for the company.


An LLC must apply for an EIN if the company has employees, withholds taxes on money not derived from wages of nonresident aliens or files a Excise, Employment, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms return. A company with a Keogh plan, a tax-deferred retirement plan available to unincorporated businesses, has to have an EIN, as well as a non-profit LLC or an LLC involved with mortgage investments.

Application Options

An LLC can file for an EIN through the IRS, and some states offer businesses the option of filing for the EIN through the state tax department; the number is ultimately issued by the IRS in both cases. The IRS has online and telephone methods available for receiving an EIN, as well as fax and mail-in procedures; the mail and fax options require the completion of Form SS-4. The LLC receives an EIN immediately if using the online or phone options as of 2010. The fax option can take up to four business days, while the mail-in carries a four week processing time. The online process is only available for LLCs with a principal address in the U.S. or a U.S. territory.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

LLC Information

All EIN application methods require the LLC to submit information to the IRS. The LLC must supply the legal company name, trade name (if any), principal office address and the name and Social Security number of the person responsible for the LLC. Only the personal information of one person from the LLC is needed, even if the company has more than one member. The LLC's creation date and the highest number of employees the company plans to have over the next year must be disclosed, as well as the LLC's business purpose. Paper and fax forms must be signed and dated by the responsible person.


A LLC that needs an EIN immediately should chose the Internet or phone options. As of 2010, the online process is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., Eastern Standard Time. The phone method is available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., local time. The "Where to File" section of the IRS' official website has the fax numbers and mailing addresses for Form SS-4, and the form can be downloaded and printed from the IRS website.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
How do I Obtain a Federal Tax ID When Forming an LLC?



Related articles

Do LLCs Have to File a 1099?

One of the major benefits to organizing as a limited liability company, or LLC, is the advantage of pass-through entity federal taxation. LLC profits are only taxed by the IRS once, on the tax returns of individual LLC members. However, the advantage of pass-through entity federal taxation does not exempt an LLC from the IRS's stringent reporting requirements, and an LLC must use IRS Form 1099 if it pays income to individuals other than wages, salaries and tips.

What Forms Do I Need to File for an S Corp?

An incorporated business is automatically designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a C corporation for income tax purposes. However, certain smaller corporations can elect to be taxed as S corporations without forfeiting the liability protections that the corporate structure affords to shareholders. Making the initial election requires filing an IRS form. Once S corporation status is granted, the tax forms the corporation must file annually will change.

How to Form a Sole Proprietorship in Ohio

Many Ohio businesses are formed as sole proprietorships because this type of business is relatively simple to set up, and the individual owner maintains complete control over the management and profits of the business. A sole proprietorship may be formed without any official registration with the state, but there may be additional licensing and registration requirements depending on the type of business.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help LLCs

Related articles

How to Find a Company's EIN

An Employer Identification Number for a business entity is analogous to a Social Security number for an individual. The ...

What Happens to Your EIN When Dissolving a Corporation?

When you formed your corporation, you applied for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue ...

Tax Differences Between an LLC & a Sole Proprietorship

When starting a business, there are many different factors to take into account. One of the principal concerns is that ...

How to Get a Copy of My SS-4 for My Corporation

Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN), is produced by the Internal Revenue Service and used ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED