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Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number

Use IRS Form SS-4 to request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). EINs are nine-digit numbers assigned to businesses for tax reporting and filing purposes. It’s essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for a business. An EIN, however, should only be used in connection with your business activities. Do not use an EIN in place of your SSN or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

Who Should Complete Form SS-4?

If you are starting a business (sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation), requesting an EIN should be on your to-do list. This number not only identifies your business to the IRS, but is also used for banking, billing, filing taxes, and other business aspects. In addition to the businesses mentioned, the following types of entities may also use Form SS-4 when applying for an EIN:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Trusts
  • Estates

How to Apply For an EIN

There are several ways to apply for an EIN. All are completely free. Be sure to use only one method so you don’t receive more than one EIN for your business.

Apply Online

You can receive your EIN immediately by applying online if you have a legal residence or principal place of business in the United States or one of its possessions. Simply go to IRS.gov/Businesses and click on Employer ID Number (EIN). Authorized persons applying for the EIN must have a valid taxpayer identification number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) to use the online application.

Apply by Phone (International Applicants Only)

The IRS no longer issues EINs by phone for domestic applicants. If you have NO legal residence, principal place of business, office, or agency in the United States or its possessions, you may call 267-941-1099 between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday to request an EIN.

Apply by Fax

To receive your EIN by fax, you’ll need to complete Form SS-4 and use the appropriate number listed in the “Where to File or Fax” table below. It generally takes about four (4) business days to receive your EIN by fax. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Apply by Mail

If you plan to submit Form SS-4 by mail, do so at least four to five weeks before you need your EIN. Refer to the “Where to File or Fax” table below for the mailing address for your location. You can check on the status of your application by calling 800-829-4933.

Where to File or Fax Form SS-4

If your business is located in:File or fax to:
One of the 50 states or the District of ColumbiaInternal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: 855-641-6935
If you have no legal residence, principal office, or principal agency in any state or the District of Columbia (international/U.S. possessions)Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN International Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: 855-215-1627 (within the U.S.)
Fax: 304-707-9471 (outside the U.S.)
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Need Help?

If you need assistance with requesting an EIN or preparing your business taxes, please contact Tax Defense Network at 855-476-6920 for a free quote.

You can also find instructions on how to complete Form SS-4 on IRS.gov.