The Tax ID certificate, also known as the Employer Identification Number (EIN), of your business will come in handy at numerous times throughout ownership of your company, such as when opening a business bank account.

Where to apply

The only place to obtain your tax ID number is through the IRS. You can call the EIN toll free number, mail or fax in your EIN application, or apply online at


The only requirement to apply for a Federal Tax ID is to have a business registered with your state.


If you apply for your EIN by fax or mail it can take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks to receive your certificate. if you apply by telephone you will receive the tax ID number over the phone and your certificate will be mailed within two weeks. If you apply online you will receive a copy of your certificate in PDF form minutes after completing the application.

Lost Tax ID numbers

If you lose the original copy of an EIN issued by the IRS call them at 800-829-4933. You will need to have authorization to request this information.

Canceling an EIN

The IRS cannot cancel an EIN. If by chance your business never starts up and you don't need the tax ID number issued, you can close your business account by writing to the IRS. If later you choose to start the company, using the same business name, the IRS can reactivate your original tax ID number.