How to Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Applying for an EIN is a free service offered by the IRS. Please be wary of and websites that charge for this service. There are several ways you can apply for an EIN, making it an easy step necessary to starting your business ventures.

What is an EIN?

An employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS. It is used to identify the tax accounts of employers and certain others who have no employees. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers that are required to file various business tax returns.

Do I need an EIN?

If you and “yes” the any of the following questions you will need to apply for an EIN.

  • Do you have employees?
  • Do you operate your business as a corportation or partnership?
  • Do you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
  • Do you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
  • Do you have a Keogh plan?
  • Are you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
  • Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
    • Estates
    • Real estate mortgage investment conduits
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Farmers’ cooperatives
    • Plan administrators

Methods for applying for an EIN