How Long Will it Take to Get An EIN Number?

The Internal Revenue Service issues these Employer Identification Numbers and uses them to keep track of tax filings. A tax ID number is unique and critical for your business. Apply for EIN number at the same time you form your LLC. While not mandatory, a sole proprietorship application for an EIN is also possible.

Apply for an EIN

Making the Initial Application

It is possible to submit an EIN application with the IRS. Processing time depends on the method you choose to use.

  • Apply for EIN online – Your tax ID is available the same day*
  • Fax an application – Processing time is approximately four days
  • Mail Your Application – This can take four weeks to process plus a week or two for delivery
  • Phone Application – Successfully identify your company with an IRS agent for an EIN that day

Depending on you are geographic location, some of these options may not be available. Online applications are restricted to domestic filings.

Recovering A Lost EIN

You should always protect your employer identification number. Business credit files use this number to track your business’s financial performance. You will also use it to apply for loans as well as file your company’s income taxes.

If you have lost the number, it can be recovered or replaced, but the IRS recommends making every possible effort to locate your original number before requesting help.

To recover an EIN, you must provide evidence to the Internal Revenue Service. Information is only released after authenticating your identity and authority within the company.

Replacing an EIN complicates matters. Your past credit history is not associated with the new number. Swapping out numbers frequently looks unstable to lenders.

Information Required for EIN Applications

You’ll need to fill out an SS-4 form and submit it to the proper agency before you can receive an EIN.

An SS-4 form is also known as an Application for Employer Identification Number. It requires basic information about your entity, including:

  • Legal name and address of entity
  • Executor, trustee, “care of” or administrator name
  • Name and SSN, ITIN or EIN of responsible party
  • Type of entity (partnership, sole proprietor, corporation, etc.)
  • Reason for applying (new business, banking purpose, hired employees, etc.)
  • Type of merchandise sold or services provided

If you submit an SS-4 form with incomplete information, the issuance of your EIN number could be delayed. In order to get your EIN quickly, you need to accurately fill out the entire SS-4 form.

Responsible Party Information

Whether you file your EIN application by telephone, mail, fax or electronically, you’ll need to include information for the true principal officer, trustor, grantor, general partner or owner. This person will then be referred to by the IRS as the “responsible party” for the EIN applications.

The Internal Revenue Service currently limits EIN issuance to a maximum of one responsible party per day. This is intended to ensure fair treatment of all taxpayers. The daily EIN limitation applies to all EIN requests, regardless of how they are made.

Third Party Authorization Requirements

You can authorize a third party to act on your behalf and apply and process your EIN application. You may want to have a third party represent you if you do not fully understand the EIN application process. The responsibilities of the third party end when you receive your EIN.

Nominee Limitations

You can nominate someone to act on behalf of your entity with limited authority. However, a nominee cannot be considered the “responsible party” for an EIN and should never be listed as a trustor, grantor, owner, officer or general partner on an EIN application.

Reasons for a Delay

For the most part, applying for an EIN has a fast turnaround, especially if you apply for an EIN online. However, there are some situations that can lead to a delay. Business entities incorporated outside of the United States and its territories can apply for an EIN, but they cannot do so online. This could lead to delays for these businesses, since they have to rely on slower processes.

The number one reason for delayed applications for businesses that can apply online is missing information. As discussed above, there is certain information you must have on your application. When this is not there, the IRS cannot verify and process the application. The same applies when you have incorrect information, even if it is just a typo. Therefore, you want to review and verify your application before submitting it to reduce the chance of a delay.

Denied EIN

When you have an error on your application that cannot be immediately fixed, you might find your application denied, which also will extend the time required to secure your EIN. Generally, denials are due to the problems discussed above, including problems with the name, too many locations or general errors on the application. Some applications come back with an Error 101. This code means there is some conflict in the application, which could be a number of things, including:  

  • Name conflict
  • A previous EIN has you or the entity listed as the responsible party
  • Multiple business locations, especially involving several states

You can submit an amended application to the IRS to get the original denial overturned, but you probably will have to do so through the mail rather than online.

Although you receive your EIN quickly and can start to use it for opening your bank account, applying for your business licenses or mailing in your tax return, you have to wait until it becomes permanent in order to make an electronic payment to the IRS or file an electronic return. This can take up to two weeks.

Get Help With Your EIN

GovDocFiling makes it easy to get your EIN. Avoid the hassle of dealing directly with the IRS by simply using our online EIN process. We can supply you with your EIN in about an hour* and help you manage your application.

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