Skip to main content

How to Get a Tax ID Number

Getting a tax ID number, also known as an Employer ID number or EIN, is a step every new business owner must take. Luckily, the process is simple.


  • Step 1: Determine your business name and address Determine an official name and address for your new business. Your name and home address can be used.
  • TIP: Talk to your accountant if you are not sure if you need an EIN. If you have no other employees, you may be able to use your social security number as a tax ID number.
  • Step 2: Use the IRS's EIN Online system to apply Go to the IRS's EIN online application system, available at Enter your business name and address and answer the questions about the purpose of your business.
  • TIP: Spell out or drop symbols like dollar signs or periods in your business's official name when completing the IRS forms.
  • Step 3: Receive an EIN immediately Answer every question in the survey and receive an EIN immediately. Download, save, and print the confirmation notice for your permanent files.
  • Step 4: Phone the IRS's Business Tax Line to get an EIN Phone the IRS's Business and Specialty Tax Line as another method of getting an EIN immediately. Provide your business name and address and other basic information.
  • TIP: Call (800) 829-4933 during weekday work hours to reach the IRS's Business and Specialty Tax Line.
  • Step 5: Get a copy of IRS Form SS-4 Get a copy of IRS Form SS-4 from the IRS web site or from your local library as another method of applying for a tax ID number.
  • Step 6: Complete and mail the form to the IRS Complete the form, providing basic information about your business. Mail the form to the IRS, and receive your tax ID number in the mail in approximately 4 weeks.
  • Step 7: Use your EIN on tax and other business forms Use your EIN when filing taxes, opening a business checking account or line of credit, or completing any other business-related contracts.
  • FACT: According to the Small Business Administration, there were nearly 30 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2008. Just over half of all U.S. workers were employed by small businesses.

You Will Need

  • A business name
  • A business address
  • A computer with internet access
  • A printer
  • A telephone
  • The IRS form SS-4

Popular Categories