How to Use an EIN Number & Not a Social Security Number for Credit

Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are both forms of Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs). They are both used to file taxes, and they can both be used to apply for credit. The two numbers can become intertwined, especially if you are using both numbers with your own name and address (for example, if you are a sole proprietor). The key to using the EIN to open separate credit accounts is to establish a separate identity for your business.

Create a separate identity for your business. This should not be linked to your personal credit profile at all. For example, incorporate into a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or register a fictitious business name (called a "Doing Business As" or DBA). Creating a separate business identity helps to create a separate credit profile.

Create an address other than your home address. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to lease an office. You could open a P.O.Box. You should also get a separate phone in your business name. Make sure that your business address and phone are in the same state as the one you obtained a business name from in Step 1. Creating a separate address and phone number helps to establish the separate identity with lenders. In fact, many lenders won't open a line of credit for you without a minimum of a business phone number.

Open business accounts with your suppliers and other business related ventures, using your EIN number instead of your SSN. These accounts will most likely have very small limits and be "30 day" accounts, meaning you must pay the bill within 30 days. Pay these on time.

Open small lines of business credit, using your EIN number instead of your SSN. Make sure that the lines of credit will be reported to the credit bureaus (ask the lender before borrowing).

Tips

  • It's vital to keep the initial accounts in good standing. The more accounts you pay on time, the higher your credit score will be, and the more credit you'll be able to apply for using your EIN instead of your SSN.