Updated on: August 14th, 2022

How to Use Form SS-4 to Apply for an EIN for Your LLC?

Get Professionals to Obtain an EIN For You

Need instructions for the SS-4 Employer Identification Number (EIN) Form? Learn more about how to fill out this important IRS form and apply for an EIN for your business. IRS paperwork can be difficult, and your business can encounter certain exceptional circumstances that could make the EIN application process longer or shorter.

This essay’s purpose is to provide a helpful introduction to and manual for this process. But before you get started, be sure to read the IRS Form SS-4 instructions on the IRS website completely.

First to Know, What exactly is an EIN?

In order to submit appropriate documentation to the IRS, some categories of businesses and other entities must have an Employer Identification Number. It is also called a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Tax ID Number because although being a general term that covers a variety of numbers used on tax forms, it does not just apply to employers.

Examples of TINs include Social Security Numbers, Employer Identification Numbers, and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. An EIN number has nine digits, like a Social Security number, but only uses one dash rather than two, like in the example: 66-6666666.


Why Is an EIN Required for My Business?

Probably. Businesses that employ people or are subject to corporate taxation must get an EIN. Other scenarios where obtaining an EIN would be necessary include the following:

  1. Your company is a corporation or partnership for tax purposes.
  2. You have a retirement plan for your own business.
  3. Taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and firearms as well as employment and excise are paid.
  4. When paying a non-resident foreigner, you withhold income taxes (other than wages).
  5. You engage in any of the following activities:
  6. Trusts, IRAs, and Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns (other than revocable trusts controlled by the grantor).
  7. Properties
  8. Mortgage investment conduits for real estate
  9. Non-profits
  10. Cooperative farming
  11. Administrators of plans

EINs are also necessary for various state-level filings and creating business bank accounts. For instance, an EIN is required to file the Alabama Business Privilege Tax and the Arkansas Franchise Tax.

Unless you hire staff or submit any excise or pension taxes, a lone owner probably won’t require an EIN. You will use your social security number as your taxpayer ID if you don’t have an EIN, though. Therefore, even if you are not required to obtain an EIN, doing so may be beneficial.

Specifically, What is the SS-4 Form?

When requesting a small company loan, there is a ton of documentation required. These contracts frequently involve a lot of paperwork and are thus complicated, which can be stressful. As part of the loan application process, some lenders need a copy of the IRS Form SS-4.

The application for an EIN from the IRS is made using Form SS-4, also known as the Employer Identification Number application. The EIN is necessary for a number of company operations, such as opening a business bank account or filing federal income taxes. Similar to how they use your Social Security number to identify you as an individual, the IRS basically utilizes your EIN to identify your corporation.

You must apply for an EIN if your company:

  • Recruits personnel
  • Is a business or partnership that operates
  • Establishes a bank account
  • Requires getting a license
  • Requests business credit cards

By shifting the application process online, the IRS has simplified it. The IRS now requests a series of inquiries in place of the traditional SS-4 form.


Who Uses the SS-4 Form?

Form SS-4 can be used to seek a business tax account and EIN by corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts. Due to the fact that they submit their tax returns using their Social Security numbers, sole proprietors normally do not require EINs; nonetheless, they are still permitted to do so.

If your company already has an EIN, but the ownership or organizational structure has changed, you might also need to resubmit a Form SS-4.

How Can I Obtain a Copy of My Form SS-4?

Whether your company is new or old, the IRS does not provide you with a copy of Form SS-4. Request a second copy of the letter assigning your EIN. Your EIN is confirmed in this letter for lenders.

To get an assignment letter, contact the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 with your EIN. Check your company records or tax filings if you don’t know your EIN.

To confirm your identity over the phone, the IRS tax specialist may ask for your company name, commercial address, or work title. You must be a partner, officer, or LLC member to obtain the EIN over the phone. The tax advisor will fax or send your EIN assignment letter after confirming your identity.

Offer a different address since the IRS will send official correspondence to the company’s registered mailing address.

Keep a copy of the letter assigning your EIN in case a lender asks for it. Get the EIN letter right now if you want to look for firm financing in the future.

What Details Are Necessary for an SS-4?

The SS-4 form is not too complicated. To fill out the form, you will need the following details:

  • The official name of your company
  • If you want to use a name other than the legal name, it will be your company’s trade name.
  • If you want to name someone to get tax information, you can use an “in care of” person.
  • the company’s street and postal addresses
  • The region and state in which the main office is located
  • The accountable party; often, is the owner a general partner, or a major officer
  • The responsible party’s Social Security number, individual tax identification number, or EIN

You will also need to provide information on your organization’s other aspects, such as its legal structure (such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation), the date it was founded or acquired, the number of anticipated workers, and its primary business activity.

How Can I Submit an SS-4?

Mail, via fax, or by online are the three methods available for submitting an SS-4 form to the IRS. Even if you submit your form by mail or fax, you should check the IRS website to be sure you are sending it to the right address or fax number because these details are subject to change.

  • Mail a filing. It will take around four weeks to receive your number if you file by mail. Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999 is where you should send your Form SS-4. To make certain you have the most recent information, examine the most recent edition of the IRS Instructions for Form SS-4 as well as the SS-4 form itself.
  • Online filing. On the IRS website, you may fill out the form and submit it electronically. You will be able to obtain your EIN number right away thanks to this.
  • Filing through fax. You will receive your number if you file by fax in roughly four business days. Fax your SS-4 to 855-641-6935 if your main place of business or home is in one of the District of Columbia’s 50 states or states. Fax it to: From the United States: 855-215-1627; From outside the United States: 304-707-9471 if your primary place of business and residence are both abroad. To ensure you have the most recent information, be sure to check the most recent versions of both the IRS Instructions for Form SS-4 and the SS-4 form itself.

An EIN Cannot Be Obtained Over the Phone

A lot of the information available online concerning obtaining an EIN for an LLC is false, especially when it comes to contacting the IRS’s EIN International Department.

That is untrue.

If you’ve found a corporation outside of the United States and need an EIN, you can only call the EIN International Department and obtain one over the phone.

Therefore, how do foreigners obtain an EIN for their LLC? You cannot get an EIN by phone from the EIN International Department if you are a non-US citizen or non-US resident (“foreigner”). Instead, you must submit Form SS-4 to the IRS through mail or fax, just like everyone else. However, there are certain unique instructions that you may find here: without an SSN or ITIN, apply for an EIN.

Do I Have to Pay For an EIN or Can I Get One Myself?

You can notice how Form SS-4 completion may be difficult. Depending on your business, you might want to get professional advice to evaluate your options and decide how to proceed. Some business owners can have particular circumstances that call for additional inquiries.

You can, in fact, get an EIN and finish Form SS-4 on your own.

Turnaround Times for EIN Approval

The EIN Confirmation Letter is the formal name for the EIN approval. The EIN Confirmation Letter’s technical designation is “CP 575.”

  • Your EIN Confirmation Letter will be returned back to you if you send Form SS-4 to the IRS.
  • Your EIN Confirmation Letter will be faxed back to you if you send Form SS-4 to the IRS.

Depending on when in the year you file, the EIN approval periods indicated below may change. For instance, the IRS is much busier from January through May. However, the following are the IRS’s official approval times:

Time for fax approval: The IRS will send your EIN back to you if you fax Form SS-4 to them within 4 to 7 business days. The fax number you provided in the form will get this. A letter confirming your EIN will also be mailed to you in 4 to 8 weeks.

Mail-based approval period: Within 4 to 8 weeks after mailing Form SS-4 to the IRS, you’ll get your EIN Confirmation Letter (by mail).

IRS Contact Information & Phone Number

Call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 if you have any inquiries concerning Form SS-4.

The IRS’s phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. The wait times are reduced the earlier you call.


Relevant Aspects to Consider in Filling Out Form SS-4

Entity’s Official Name (LLC)

Name-Your-LLC

If you have an Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation, enter your LLC name exactly as it appears there.

Make sure your LLC name is accessible (or that you’ve reserved it, following Louisiana filing guidelines), since you may need to get your EIN before creating your LLC if you’re founding an LLC in Louisiana or West Virginia.

Do not apply for an EIN if you are creating your LLC in any other state until your LLC has been authorized.


Location of Major Business (LLC) By County and State

The location of your LLC should be entered as the county, not the nation.

This will either be your LLC’s registered agent address or its primary address.


Applicants’ Motivation

Choose “Started a new business (specify kind)” and indicate to the right the kind of business your LLC will be conducting.

Looking over the choices in #16 is the ideal place to begin. Simply type the words “business purpose” here if one of the default checkboxes in #16 corresponds to the business objective of your LLC.

If not, you can either input a phrase (or words) that you think appropriate, or you can use terminology from the NAICS Code, which is the IRS’s method for classifying businesses.

Governmental organizations utilize the NAICS Code (North American Industry Classification System) to determine the industry of a company.

The NAICS Code is used by the IRS for two main purposes:

  • To develop reports and industrial analyses, statistics are employed.
  • The IRS will be aware of how a company could stack up against other companies in the same sector in the event of an audit.

Just enter the main business activity, even though your LLC may have several objectives, multiple goods or services, and various income streams. And don’t worry, this doesn’t compel your LLC to act only in this manner. Additionally, you are not required to notify the IRS if you change the business activities of your LLC. On the LLC’s initial EIN application, this information is all that is required.


FAQs: How to Use Form SS-4 to apply for an EIN for Your LLC

EIN: What is it?

Employer Identifying Numbers (EINs) are special identification numbers that the Internal Revenue Service issues to distinguish one corporate organization from another (IRS). Employers often require an EIN in order to file taxes.


A Word of Caution Regarding Form SS-4

This piece aims to provide novice business owners with some broad pointers. The SS-4 form is intricate, therefore this isn’t meant to provide you with detailed instructions on how to fill it out or to serve as legal or tax advice.

Since every company scenario is unique, your tax advisor can have special recommendations for you. To ensure that you are in conformity with the tax regulations and that you obtain the most tax benefit for your particular case, please speak with your lawyer or CPA.

  • Form SS-4 can be sent or submitted online, but not electronically. You may also use the phone to apply.
  • A company tax account with the IRS is created by the form and number.
  • The form can be used for businesses, partnerships, trusts, and estates. Even while sole owners are permitted to operate their businesses using their own Social Security numbers, they do have the option to file for an EIN.
  • A business application for an employer identification number is IRS Form SS-4 (EIN).

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Ian Broderick is an avid author and owner of LLCGuys.com. He's been involved with the LLC formation field for over 4 years. On top of that, he has worked in several well-known LLC formation service providers. Now he decided to share his knowledge and advice with everybody. Since there are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding this field - his aim is to make LLCGuys a top-notch information provider in regards to LLC creation, service reviews and etc..

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