Do I need a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) or tax ID number? If so, how can I obtain one?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns and uses to identify taxpayers that are required to file various business tax returns. EINs are used by employers, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, nonprofit associations, and trusts, estates of decedents, government agencies, certain individuals, and other business entities. In some cases, sole proprietors with no employees and no sales tax can simply use their own social security number for tax purposes, but most businesses will need an EIN. You can apply by phone, fax, or mail. A downloadable form (SS-4) is available on the IRS website.