You’ll have a lot of paperwork to deal with when applying for a small business loan. Often, these documents require excessive documentation and are complicated, which is quite overwhelming. Other lenders will ask for a copy of Form SS-4 as part of the loan application process.
Limited liability companies (LLC) need to have an EIN on record with the IRS before opening a business bank account and filing taxes. Other states also require an LLC to have an EIN. Filling out SS-4 forms for an LLC can be pretty challenging, so read the instructions carefully. Don’t rush through the process.
An LLC is a business organization created by the state statute that combines the pass-through taxation benefits of a partnership with the limited liability status of a company. An LLC with one owner, also called a member, is a single-member entity, while an LLC with multiple owners is called a multi-member LLC.
An LLC is treated as a single-member entity, disregarded entity, multi-member entity, or partnership for federal tax purposes unless it wants to be treated as a corporation. A single-member LLC files taxes as a sole proprietorship and their business activities are reported on the owner’s federal income tax return.
Filling out the IRS Form SS-4 online is one of the easiest ways to complete it. You can also secure a hard copy of the form (here’s a sample taken from the IRS website), fill it out, and mail or fax it to the IRS. International applicants can apply by phone. If you don’t have a desktop computer, you can ask the IRS to mail you a copy of the form. See below for the instructions for Form SS-4.
You should provide the legal name of the individual or entity applying for the EIN as it appears on the charter, social security card, or other applicable legal documents. An entity is needed.
For individuals, you should provide your first name, middle initial, and last name. If you’re a sole proprietor, enter your name, not your business name. Enter your business on line 2. You shouldn’t use nicknames or abbreviations on line 1.
Enter the legal name of the trust as it appears on the document.
Estate of a deceased
Enter the name of the estate. For an estate with no legal name, enter the deceased's name followed by “Estate.”
Enter the legal name of the partnership as it appears in the agreement.
Enter the corporate name as it appears in the corporate charter or other legal document creating it.
Enter the name of the plan administrator. A plan administrator who already has an EIN should use that number.
Enter the name of the business if it’s different from the legal name. The trade name should be the “doing business as” (DBA) name.
For trusts, provide the name of the trustee. For estates, supply the name of the personal representative, administrator, executor, or other fiduciary. If the entity applying has a designated individual to receive tax information, provide that person’s name as the “care of” person. Enter that individual’s first name, middle initial, and last name.
Enter the mailing address for the entity’s correspondence. If the entity’s address is not from the United States or its possessions, you should provide the name, postal code, state or province, or city of the country. Don’t abbreviate the country name. If line 3 is filled out, provide the address for the “care of” person, trustee, or executor. Usually, you'll use this address on all tax returns.
If the entity files Form SS-4 only to obtain an EIN for Form 8832, use the same address where you’d like to have the non-acceptance or acceptance letter sent.
You should provide the entity’s physical address only if it’s different from the mailing address shown on lines 4a-4b. Don’t put the P.O. box number in these lines. If the entity’s address is outside of the United States or its possessions, you should provide the name, postal code, state or province, or city of the country. Don’t abbreviate the country name.
You should provide the entity’s primary physical location.
Enter the full name (first name, middle initial, and last name if applicable) and EIN, ITIN, or SSN of the entity’s responsible party. If you’re applying for an EIN for a government entity, you can provide an EIN for the responsible party on line 7b. Otherwise, you should supply the ITIN or SSN on line 7b. But leave that line blank if the responsible party is not eligible for obtaining or doesn’t have an ITIN or SSN.
An LLC is an entity organized under the laws of a foreign country or state as a limited liability company. For federal tax purposes, an LLC can be treated as a corporation or a partnership. It can also be disregarded as an entity separate from its owner.
By default, a domestic LLC with only one member is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner and should declare all expenses and income on its tax return (for example, Schedule C (Form 1040 or 1040-SR)).
If the answer to line 8a is “Yes,” enter the number of members in the LLC. If the LLC is owned solely by an individual and their spouse in a community property state and they choose to treat the entity as a disregarded entity, enter “1” on line 8b.
You should check the box that best describes the kind of entity applying for the EIN. If you’re an alien individual with an ITN previously assigned to you, enter the ITIN in place of a requested SSN.
Check this box if you file Schedule F or Schedule C (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), and are a payer of gambling winnings, are required to file firearms, tobacco, alcohol, employment, or excise returns, or have a qualified plan. Enter your ITIN or SSN in the space provided. If you’re a non-resident alien with no effectively connected income from sources within the United States, leave that section blank. You don’t need to enter an ITIN or SSN.
This box is for any corporation other than a personal service corporation. If you check this box, provide the income tax form number to be filed by the entity in the space provided.
Check this box if the entity is a personal service corporation. Law, the performing arts, health (including veterinary services), engineering, consulting, architecture, actuarial science, and accounting are some fields included in the personal service category.
Check the “Other Nonprofit Organization” box if the nonprofit entity is other than a church or church-controlled one. Make sure to specify the kind of nonprofit organization (for example, an educational organization).
If the organization has a group exemption letter, provide the four-digit group exemption number (GEN) in the last box. If you don’t know the GEN, talk to the parent organization.
If the organization is a section 257 political organization, check the “Other Nonprofit Organization” box and specify “Section 527 organization” in the space to the right. A “Section 527” organization should electronically fill out Form 8871, the Political Organization Notice of Section 527 Status, within 24 hours of the date on which you established the organization.
Doing this will allow the organization to be recognized as exempt from tax. The organization may also have to file Form 8872, the Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.
Check this option if you’re starting a new business that requires an EIN. If you check this box, provide the type of business you’re building. Don’t apply if you already have an EIN and are only adding another place of business.
Tick the box if the existing business asks for an EIN because it has a few or hired a few employees; hence, it must file employment tax returns. Don’t apply if you are already hiring employees and have an EIN.
Check the box if you need an EIN for banking purposes and enter the banking purpose. For example, an investment club for dividend and investment reporting or a bowling league for depositing dues.
Tick the box if the business is changing its kind of organization. For example, the company was a sole proprietorship and has become a partnership or has become incorporated. If you check this box, specify in the space provided and below the kind of change made. For example, “From partnership to a sole proprietorship.”
Check the box if you purchased an existing business. Don’t use the former owner’s EIN unless you become the “owner” of a corporation by acquiring its stock.
Tick the box if you created a trust and enter the kind of trust created. For example, indicate if the trust is a split-interest trust or nonexempt charitable trust.
Don’t file this form for certain grantor-type trusts. Trustees don’t need an EIN for the trust if they furnish the name and TIN (tax ID number) of the owner/grantor and the trust's address to all payers. However, grantor trusts that don’t file using IRA and Optional Method 1 trusts must file Form 990-T should have an EIN. See the Instructions for Form 1041 for more information.
Don’t check this box if you’re applying for a trust EIN when a new pension is established. Check the “Created a pension plan box.”
Tick the box if you’ve created a pension plan and need an EIN for reporting purposes. In addition, enter the kind of plan in the space provided.
Check the box if you’re applying for an EIN for any other reasons and enter the reason. For example, a newly formed state government entity should enter “Newly formed state government entity” in the space provided. A foreign-owned US disregarded entity required to file Form 5472 should enter “Foreign-owned US disregarded entity filing form 5472” in the space provided.
If you're starting a new business, enter the starting date of the company. If the business you acquired is already operating, enter the date you obtained the business. For foreign applicants, this is the date you acquired or started a business in the United States. If you're changing your business ownership form, enter the date the new ownership entity started.
Trusts should provide the date that the trust was required or the date the trust was funded to obtain an EIN under Regulations section 301.6109-1(a)(2). Estates should enter when the deceased legally supported the estate or the deceased's date of death, whose name appears on line 1.
Enter the last month of your tax year or accounting year.
Your tax year will be a calendar year.
Partnerships should adopt one of the following tax years.
REMICs should have a calendar year as their tax year.
Personal service corporations should adopt a calendar year unless it meets one of the following requirements:
Trusts should adopt a calendar year except for the following:
Fill out each box by entering the number of Household, Agricultural, or Other employees expected by the applicant in the next 12 months. If the business doesn't expect employees, skip line 14.
If you expect your employment tax liability to be $1,000 or less in a calendar year, you're eligible to file Form 944 annually instead of filing Form 941 quarterly. Your employment tax liability will be $1,000 or less if you expect to pay $5,000 or less in total wages subject to Medicare or social security taxes and federal income tax withholding.
Suppose you qualify and want to file Form 944 instead of Form 941, thick the box on line 14. If you don't check that box, then you should file Form 941 for every quarter.
If your business has employees, provide the date on which you started to pay annuities and wages. For foreign applicants, this is the date you started to pay salaries in the United States. If the business doesn't plan to have employees, enter "N/A."
Tick the "Other" box and specify your principal activity if none of the boxes apply. You should check a box.
Make sure to provide a detailed description of your business. For example, if you’re in the construction industry, provide the specifics like “general contractors for commercial buildings” in this line. If you’re in the real estate industry, you should specify what kind of property you’re handling - it can be residential REIT, commercial REIT, or other non-residential REITs.
Make sure to tick the box that indicates whether or not you’ve previously applied for an EIN.
Fill out this section if you want the named individual to contact or receive the EIN. You have to provide the contact information (phone or fax number, mobile number, etc.), address, and name. Then, sign the signature page. Make sure to check with your designee to see if you should send the application to the IRS or him.
Can't sign the application form personally? Check this article out to know if you can sign the application digitally. Once you're done, don't forget to make a copy of your records.
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What is EIN?
Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) is a unique identification number assigned to a business entity to be identified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Usually, employers will need an EIN for tax filing purposes.
Is it possible to apply for an EIN online?
An online EIN application is possible if your principal business is in the United States or US territory. You should have your valid Taxpayer Identification Number, e.g., EIN, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or Social Security Number (SSN). You should also complete the online application process in one session because you can't save and return later.
Your session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity, and you'll have to start over. Once you're done with the validation process, you'll get your EIN immediately. Then, you can print, save, or download your EIN confirmation notice.
Why do I need an EIN?
You may have to obtain an EIN for different reasons, including hiring employees, trust banking, estate, or businesses. Businesses also need EINs when asked to file firearms, tobacco, alcohol, excise tax, and employment tax returns. Here are the other reasons you may need an EIN:
Sole proprietors who are filing for bankruptcy for their business will need an EIN. Other people who inherit or purchase an existing business that they want to run as a sole proprietorship from now on.
Self-employed individuals who decide to establish a retirement plan will have to obtain an EIN to facilitate those kinds of plans' federal tax treatment.
If you're hiring employees, you'll need an EIN. The IRS will use your EIN to track your payroll tax remittances. Business owners who own a business other than a sole proprietorship will also need an EIN, regardless of whether or not the company will have any employees. You'll use your EIN to track your business taxes.
Banks and credit unions will need a valid EIN to open a bank account for any other kind of business, non-grantor trusts, or an estate. Having an EIN can also be helpful for a company seeking to obtain working or financing capital.
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