How to Get a Tax ID or Wholesalers License

Setting up a small business requires that you pay taxes, and for that you will need a tax ID issued by the U.S. government. This ID number, also known as an EIN, can also be used for making business purchases as well as setting up business accounts with other retailers, wholesalers, businesses, and suppliers. It is a very simple process.

Contact your local IRS field office, or download form SS-4 from the website. This is the necessary form for obtaining an EIN, which is a tax identification number.

Go to the IRS website and apply for a tax ID online. (See "Resources" below.) Record your EIN number at the end of the application process.

Download Form SS-4 online. The business type will determine how the form should be completed. For example, sole proprietors would complete lines 1, 2, 4a–8a, 8b–c (if applicable), 9a, 9b (if applicable), 10–14 and 16–18. The form is available at the IRS website.

Apply for your tax ID over the telephone by calling (800) 829-4933 from 7am to 10pm, Monday through Friday. Your EIN number will be provided over the phone.

Fax the completed Form SS-4 to your state tax authority. (See "Resources" below.) In this case, a tax ID will be assigned within 4 business days.

Apply by standard postal mail. The form must be sent to your state tax authority. This is the slowest way of getting your EIN, with normal processing times extending up to four weeks.


  • Read the instructions on which areas of the form to fill out.