What is an Employer Identification Number?
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is like a Social Security Number, but for your business. You might also see an EIN referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number, FTIN or TIN. It helps both you, and those you do business with, identify your business as a unique entity.
Why does my business need an EIN?
US businesses require an EIN for a variety of reasons. An EIN helps the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, identify your business quickly and easily. If you want to do business with the City or any other governmental agency, you will need an EIN to complete various forms and applications.
How do I obtain an EIN?
EINs are easy to obtain, and entirely free. They are issued by the IRS. The application to obtain an EIN can be completed online. Simply visit IRS Website - Employer ID Numbers and click “Apply for an EIN Online."
You can also apply for an EIN via fax, mail or phone, but the process will generally take a little longer. The directions for each of these methods can be found on this page.
How long does it take to obtain an EIN?
The online application to obtain an EIN takes a matter of minutes. After you have completed the application successfully, an EIN will be issued to you right away. However, please note that the online EIN service is only available on weekdays between 6AM and 9PM Central Time.
Applying for an EIN via fax takes about a week, while applying by mail takes between four and five weeks.