How to Get an EIN

If you have decided that your business needs an EIN (Employer Identification Number), there are several ways to apply for one with the IRS. If you want to do it yourself, the IRS allows you to do this by mail, fax, telephone, or online. For those that don't want the hassle of doing this, you can hire a company like TotalLegal to do the work for you.

1. Mail

In order to apply for an EIN number by mail, you will need to complete the Form SS-4, available on the IRS website. Once you have completed, signed, and mailed in the form, it will take the IRS four weeks to process it. The IRS will then mail you your EIN number.

2. Fax

The Form SS-4 can be completed and faxed to the IRS, in lieu of mailing it. It usually takes the IRS four days (instead of weeks) to process the application. Once an EIN number is assigned, the IRS will notify you by fax.

3. Telephone

Only applicants outside the US or US Territories are allowed to apply for EIN numbers with the IRS over the phone.

4. Online

The IRS offers an online EIN application, which is available to any company that has their office or legal residence located in the US or a territory of the US. The person applying for the EIN number using the IRS website must have a Social Security Number, existing EIN number, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Many people find the IRS online application confusing, too lengthy or time-consuming.

Easy Method: Have TotalLegal Obtain Your EIN Number for You

At the time you purchase your LLC online, TotalLegal offers the option to obtain an EIN number for your LLC. To do so, you authorize TotalLegal as your "third-party designee", which allows TotalLegal to collect any information needed to obtain your EIN number, apply for the EIN number on your behalf, and release the EIN number to the LLC. Typically, your EIN number is assigned within 24 hours, which makes it easy and convenient. However, it is extremely important to understand that TotalLegal's authority terminates at the time the EIN is assigned and released to you. This means that TotalLegal cannot communicate with the IRS about your LLC or your EIN number once your EIN number has been assigned.