An Employer ID Number (EIN) is an identifier used by the IRS for businesses and other entities. You can apply for an EIN using IRS Form SS-4.
Although it is primarily used for employment tax identification purposes, an EIN can also be used as a general tax number. Before you apply for an EIN, read this article on how to complete the EIN application form on Form SS-4. Then print out an application form and complete the application so you are sure you have all the information at hand.
You can apply for an EIN in one of four ways:
You can apply online
Many people use the Internet EIN application form. When you have completed the form, the information is validated and you can receive your EIN immediately. The online method is available for businesses located in the U.S. or its territories. You must have a valid taxpayer identification number before applying online.
You can apply by phone
Call the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. Someone will take your information over the phone and assign you an EIN at the end of the conversation. Note: International applicants must call (215) 516-6999 (Not a toll-free number).
You can apply by FAX
Fax the completed SS-4 application form to your state fax number. If you include your fax number, you will receive your EIN by fax within four business days.
You can apply by mail
Mail your completed SS-4 Form to the appropriate IRS office. You will receive your EIN by mail within four weeks.
As you can see, if you are comfortable applying online or by phone, you can receive your EIN immediately instead of waiting days or weeks.