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How to Get an EIN for Your Corporation

Corporate Compliance by Local Corporate Guides®

Federal Employment Identification Numbers (FEINs or EINs) are unique numbers assigned to your business, much like social security numbers. Corporations are required to get an EIN. You file Form SS-4 to apply to the IRS for an EIN (either online or with a paper form). Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions to obtain an EIN for your domestic corporation.

IRS EIN application

What is an EIN?

An EIN is a federal tax ID that the IRS assigns to your corporation. The IRS uses your EIN to identify your corporation on federal tax filings. Corporations must obtain an EIN from the IRS. You may also need an EIN for other situations, such as state-level tax filings or opening a corporate bank account.

Starting a corporation but would rather not go through the steps below? You can opt to add on EIN service as part of our business incorporation package.

Steps to Applying for a Corporate EIN:


Enter Contact Information

The initial section of IRS Form SS-4 is the easiest one to complete. The first seven boxes ask for your corporation’s contact information.

  • Boxes 1 and 2 ask for the name of your business and your trade name if you have a DBA.

  • Box 3 is where you list executors, administrators or trustees if applicable.

  • Boxes 4a-6 are all address information—mailing address, street address and location of principal office.

  • Boxes 7a and 7b require the name and social security number of the individual who is the responsible party for the corporations (such as the principal officer). Be sure to list an individual person, not an entity—only government entities can be listed in lieu of individuals.


Identify Entity Type

The next few questions are specifically directed at LLCs. Choose “no” for Box 8a (which asks if you’re an LLC), and skip Boxes 8b and 8c.

In Box 9a, choose “Corporation” and write either “1120” (for C corps) or “1120S” (for S corps) on the line. Also, remember a nonprofit IS a corporation. It’s just a corporation that has elected to be “not for profit.” In Box 9b, list the state where your business is incorporated.


State Reason for Applying

In Box 10, choose the reason you’re applying for an EIN. Most corporations choose “started new business.” Next to “started a new business,” you’ll also need to write the kind of business on the line (such as “restaurant”).


Provide Accounting and Tax Details

The latter half of the application (Boxes 11-18) is mostly concerned with details that help the IRS understand how your corporation should be taxed and what types of returns the IRS should expect from your business.

  • Box 11 asks when you started or acquired the corporation.

  • Box 12 asks which month will be the closing month of the accounting year. Most businesses operate on a calendar year, making “December” the closing month.

  • Box 13 asks about the number of employees you expect to have in the next year.

  • Box 14 is for employers and determines how often you’ll submit employer returns (and which return you’ll submit). If you think your employment tax liability will be less than $1,000 for the tax year, you may be eligible to file Form 944 as a return annually, instead of having to file Form 941 quarterly.

  • Box 15 asks for the date when the first wages were paid to employees. If you have no employees, write “N/A.”

  • Box 16 asks for the primary activity in which your corporation will engage (such as manufacturing or retail).

  • Box 17 asks for further specification of the types of products or services your corporation sells or provides. For instance, if you wrote “restaurant” in Box 10 and chose “accommodation & food service” in Box 16, you could put “fast-casual Mexican restaurant” here.

  • Box 18 asks if the corporation has ever applied for or received an EIN before. If you choose “yes,” write the previous EIN on the line.


Sign and Send

You’ve now completed Form SS-4. Sign the form and submit it to the IRS. If you file online, you will receive your EIN instantly.

IRS Filing Information:

Internal Revenue Service
ATTN: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax-TIN: 859-669-5790

Need other forms for your corporation, such as bylaws or meeting minute templates? Click the button below for a complete list of our free corporate forms.

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