How do I Get a Federal Tax ID for my Business?

How to Get Federal Tax ID header

Generally, businesses need a Federal Tax ID number or an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to legally conduct business. Whether a sole proprietor or a corporation, an EIN is necessary. This number is used to identify a business entity for tax purposes and is fairly simple to obtain. The IRS supplies multiple ways to apply for an EIN. The traditional method is the fill out Form SS-4 (which can be downloaded from and mail or fax it directly to the IRS. The IRS has also supplied an online application ( that asks the applicant a series of questions regarding his/her business. This application must be completed within one session, so it is important that an applicant has all necessary information available at the time of application.

A third party is allowed to apply for an EIN; however, that third party must be authorized by the business. If the business is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, the sole proprietor or general partnership must authorize the third party to apply for an EIN. If it is a corporation, the corporation (and not simply a shareholder) must authorize the third party to apply for an EIN.

Deborah Sweeney

Deborah Sweeney

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.