Obtaining an EIN is an essential part of starting any business in the United States. Not only will this identify your company for tax purposes, but it will also allow you certain privileges. Here is what you need to know about why you need an EIN to start a business and how to get one of your very own:
EIN at a Glance: The EIN, or the Employer Identification Number functions like a Tax ID number for your company in much the way that a social security number functions to identify an individual. Like a social security number, the EIN number will also generally stay with your company throughout its lifetime- and will even remain archived with the company should the business ever be closed
Obtaining Your EIN: The EIN form, or Form SS-4 can generally be filled out in one sitting as long as you have all of the major documents pertaining to your company. You can submit Form SS-4 online, or through fax or mail. Submitting online is the fastest method as it will only typically take one or two days to receive feedback. Faxing or mailing your form will mean waiting for two to four weeks for a reply.
Once You Have Your EIN: Depending on your method of submission, it will take you between a few days to a few weeks to obtain your EIN. However, once the number is given out, you will need to wait about four weeks before you can efile taxes. This is something to watch out for if you are looking to open a business precariously close to the end of a tax period. What you can do as soon as you obtain your EIN is use that number for business bank accounts and credit lines.
While obtaining an EIN is an essential process, you will only have to do this once. This means that you will need to keep your number secure along with other important company documents.