Are you taking the leap to do what you love? Or investing in a foreign company that you believe in? If either of these answers is ‘yes,’ you most likely will have to fill out a Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, or EIN. Form SS-4 allows you to obtain an EIN which is assigned to employers, sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships and other entities for tax filing and reporting. The process is very simple, but if you don’t know where to start, sometimes a 15 minute task can turn into four days or more.
A good place to start is determining if you need an EIN. There is a detailed chart attached to the form that can most likely answer that for you. Click here to see it. If you need one here are your options for applying:
- Snail Mail/Fax – File or fax it based on the form instructions in the link above. And wait for who knows how long (probably at least a month) before receiving a letter that is to say the IRS received it and it wasn’t lost in the mail. *NOT RECOMMENDED
- Apply online – This should only take you 15 minutes to complete and you will have your EIN at the end of the application. Click here to apply online. *HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
- Phone – which is ONLY available to international applicants (meaning you have no legal residence, principal place of business, or principal office or agency in the U.S. or U.S. possessions) and is the only way to apply for international applicants. Call: (267)-941-1099 Hold times can be long at times, so I would suggest giving yourself a few hours. Once off hold, the process should only take about 10–15 minutes.
- Assign a third-party designee by filling out the Form SS-4 and giving them a signed copy. This allows them to file by one of the methods listed above.