Can an EIN cover multiple businesses?

If you have already registered your business as an LLC or you are a sole proprietor but have a few different business ventures in mind, you may wonder if you can use the same employer identification number, or EIN, for all of your businesses. It is possible to have different businesses under the same EIN if you fill out a DBA certificate or Fictitious Name form.

What is DBA name? In many states, when or after you register business name when forming your LLC, sole proprietorship, or other organization, you may fill out a “doing business as” form. This allows you to list another name under which you plan to conduct business. Some states require the filing of the Fictitious Name form instead, but either way, it means you only have to apply for EIN one time rather than multiple times. However, you do need separate EINs in the following cases:

  • If you wish for the assets of your businesses to remain separate in the case of a lawsuit. With one EIN, if any of the businesses under that number is sued, the assets of all of the businesses are at risk.
  • If you have multiple businesses that are taxed differently, such as a corporation and an LLC. Because these types of businesses fall under different tax rules, they require separate EINs.

You will want to consider carefully if you are comfortable with operating multiple businesses under one EIN. While it can make things simpler, there are times when it may be necessary and beneficial to have more than one tax ID number.

You can get a new business tax ID number the same way you got your first one or by filling out an online EIN application. For those who have already filed their application and are waiting on the results, you can track your EIN application progress through GovDocFiling.

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