An EIN is a federal tax ID number for your company. Much like our social security number serves to define us as individuals to the IRS, an EIN serves to identify corporations. Here is a bit more about the application process for the EIN:
Who Needs an EIN?: Any company, business or corporation that hires employees needs an EIN. If you are the sole owner and employee at your business, or if you are an independent contractor, you may not be required to obtain an EIN by law, and may be able to use your social security number for tax purposes. However, obtaining a separate EIN for your business can help you be more protected from fraud.
How To Apply For an EIN: To apply for an EIN, you must fill out Form SS-4. You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by telephone if you are an international applicant. The fastest way to obtain an EIN number if your business is in the United States or United States territories, is by filling out your SS-4 online at www.irs-ein-tax-id.com. To apply online, your principal office, agency or residence must be within the U.S. and U.S. territories. You can also obtain a copy of the SS-4 on the IRS website to send via fax or mail to the IRS. Be aware that the fax number and address will vary depending on whether your primary business office is in or out of the United States. It is worth taking the time to double-check to ensure that you are sending the information to the correct entity. The option of applying by phone is limited to businesses whose primary office or residence is not within the United States or its territories. To apply by phone 267-941-1099 between 6 am and 11 pm Eastern time Monday – Friday.
Authorization: Any person applying for an EIN must be authorized to receive the EIN and to answer the questions on the SS-4 Form. If a third party is filing, a Third Party Authorization form may need to be completed.
Always keep an extra copy of your SS-4 for your records. Once you apply for an EIN for a given corporation, that number cannot be changed. Should you lose your EIN, you can reobtain that number from the IRS via www.irs-ein-tax-id.com.