A federal employer identification number (EIN) is a number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to all businesses that hire employees and are required to file annual tax reports. A federal EIN is permanently associated with the business that it is originally assigned to and cannot be transferred. However, the original business can change names and still keep the same EIN. There are a few different methods of changing the name associated with a federal EIN depending on business type.
Write a letter to the IRS informing it of the business name change if you are changing the name of a sole proprietorship or a single-member limited-liability company (LLC). You should include your federal EIN with this letter. Mail this letter to the IRS tax center you mailed your most recent tax return to. If you have not yet filed a tax return for your business, use the IRS center nearest you. The addresses are listed on the IRS website.
Mark the appropriate name change box on IRS Form 1120 or 1120-S if you wish to change the business name associated with a corporation EIN. For standard Form 1120, this is located on page 1, Line E, Box 3. For form 1120-S, this will be on page 1, Line H, Box 2. This form will be included with your annual tax return. If you have already filed taxes for the year, you will mail a letter to the tax center where you filed your most recent return. A corporate officer must sign this letter.
Check the name change box on IRS Form 1065 if you are changing the business name associated with a partnership EIN. This box is located on page 1, Line G, Box 3. This form is used as a part of your annual tax return. If the partnership has already filed taxes for the year, write a letter to the IRS tax center where you filed. All partners must sign this letter for it to be considered valid.
If your business has changed ownership or business structure (such as an LLC becoming an S-Corp), then you will not be able to change the name associated with the EIN. You will need to get a new EIN instead.
- If your business has changed ownership or business structure (such as an LLC becoming an S-Corp), then you will not be able to change the name associated with the EIN. You will need to get a new EIN instead.
Judson Parker is a community organizer, business consultant and writer. He has directed campaigns for some of the largest charities in the United States. Parker holds a Bachelor of Science in sustainable enterprise management from the John Sperling School of Business at the University of Phoenix.