Can I use my EIN to get a credit card?

Although an EIN is often referred to as a tax ID number, it does much more than serve as an identifier for your business taxes. It is also used for most business financial transactions, such as opening a bank account, taking out a loan and applying for a credit card. For your business, you will need to use EIN to apply for credit, although sole proprietorships might be able to use their social security number instead.

What is the Difference Between Personal and Business Credit?

When applying for credit with an EIN, you must remember that you must separate personal and business transactions. Any transactions that you perform with your business card should be for your business, which might include paying for marketing, software, business lunches, networking events and more.

One benefit of having a business credit card is that you can build credit separate from your personal credit. Although some business credit cards still require you to include a social security number and a personal credit check, many only run a credit check through the business credit bureaus.

How to build credit with an EIN number?

It is similar to building personal credit, although you might find that you must perform a few additional actions. In many situations, you need to contact the credit bureaus specializing in business to establish a file. Once you have one, then you can use EIN to apply for a credit card. New businesses might struggle to find an issuer, unless you have strong personal credit and use your yourself as a co-signer. Small community banks or specialty small business credit agencies might have more options. You can also apply for a small business loan to begin to build the credit associated with your EIN.

Before applying for a line of credit, loan or bank account, you need an EIN. You can start by filling out an application for an EIN number here. You can also learn how to start an LLC.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Business Credit Card?

As we’ve already mentioned, having a business card gives you the advantage of building business credit separate from your personal credit. Additional benefits of opening a business credit account include:

  • Greater security
  • Easier record keeping
  • Ability to apply for larger loans
  • Business-specific rewards

Keeping your business credit separate from your personal credit offers a higher level of security as long as you use your EIN number to apply for a business credit card. That way, if your business account is compromised, your personal accounts will still be protected. Record keeping also becomes much easier when your business expenses are clearly separated from your personal expenses.

When you open a business credit account, you have the ability to apply for larger credit limits than personal accounts typically allow. You also have the opportunity to earn points and receive other business-specific benefits.

How Do EIN and Social Security Numbers Differ?

U.S. citizens and authorized residents are issued social security numbers (SSNs). These numbers are nine digits and are used to identify individuals. The Social Security Administration (SSA) issues SSNs.

Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) must be applied for and are issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Like SSNs, they are also nine digits long, but are formatted differently. Every business that files business tax returns or pays employees must obtain an EIN.  

How Do I Use My EIN Number To Apply for a Credit Card?

Some credit card applications ask for an EIN by default, while others ask for a SSN. If you’re applying for a credit card and the application asks for your SSN, you can usually substitute your EIN number without a problem.

It’s important to keep in mind that the credit issuer may still check your personal credit, even if you enter an EIN instead of a SSN. This is especially true if your business does not yet have a well-established credit profile.

Get Help With Your EIN

Need help getting your EIN number? In as little as one hour*, GovDocFiling can obtain one for you. To take advantage of our convenient tax ID application services, follow our easy online application process.  

*Most EINs are processed same or next business day, unless bundled with state formations, processing times will vary.  

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