Understand Your Employer Identification Number (EIN)

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Sep 01, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has your number - your employer identification number, or EIN, that is. Your EIN is a nine-digit number that you use to identify your business when filing tax returns or making tax payments.

Who needs an EIN? You could need an EIN even if you do not have employees, and entities you might not think of as businesses, such as employee benefit plans, estates, or trusts, may need one. For instance, say you are appointed as trustee of an irrevocable trust that receives or distributes income. If the trust is required to file a tax return, it will need an EIN.

When does your EIN change? Generally, your EIN lasts for the life of your business, and you can keep the same number when you change the name of your business. But a change from one form of business to another - incorporating your partnership or sole proprietorship, for example - means you will have to request a new identification number.

Can you have more than one EIN? When you own more than one corporation, each needs an EIN, even if you are the sole owner. Partnerships also need separate EINs. However, when you conduct your sole proprietorship as a limited liability company and you have no employees, you can use your social security number instead.

You have our number, so give us a call. We will be happy to determine whether you need an EIN, and to help you complete the forms to request one if you do.