A federal tax identification number (TIN) is a number assigned to you by the government so your business can be identified for tax purposes. Most businesses need to apply for one in order to conduct business legally in the United States. Synonymous with an employer identifications number (EIN), finding a TIN is an essential part of starting your business.
Finding a Federal Tax Identification Number for Your Business
Determine whether or not your company is required to have a TIN. According to the IRS, your company must have a TIN or EIN if you have employees, operate as a corporation or partnership, withhold taxes on nonwage income paid to a nonresident alien, have a Keogh plan, file certain types of tax returns or are associated with certain types of organizations.
Gather your identifying business information, such as any legal documents of incorporation or partnership and relevant addresses. You will also need personally identifying information as the owner or operator of the business, including your personal Social Security number.
Go to the IRS.gov/businesses (see Resources) and click on the link for Employer ID Numbers. Follow the prompts to the online application for your EIN.
Complete the application online. The application is in the form of an interview and asks basic questions about you and your business that you will be able to answer based on either your documentation that you gathered or from personal knowledge alone. Because the application authenticates your information while you are online, you will be issued an EIN immediately. You can use this number right away, but you should be aware that the IRS states that the number will not be on their official record for a period of 2 weeks.
Apply for your Tax Identification Number ahead of time if you wish to file taxes online, because the number will need to be on the permanent record of the IRS in order to file this way.