How Many EIN Numbers Can I Have?

As a business owner, you probably know your company needs an EIN (or Tax ID Number) issued by the IRS for tax purposes. But what if you own multiple businesses or operate different divisions of the same entity? Do you need more than one EIN? Is there a limit on how many you can have? Here are some explanations that might help clarify these questions.

Is there a limit on how many EINs I can have?

For Sole Proprietors, only one EIN can be issued to the individual. The Sole Proprietor may change business type/name by filing the appropriate documentation with his or her local municipality. For all other entities, there are no limits on the number of EINs one may file for new businesses.

Do I need more than one EIN?

This also depends on how your business operates. If your business is a single entity with different divisions, it does not require each division to have its own EIN. One EIN can be used for the entire entity.

Business owners should carefully consider how their business is operated. The best choice may be to operate it as a single entity if managing multiple, separate entities would be too costly or complicated. Other issues like taxes, the type of entity and ownership issues should also be reviewed before making a decision. Depending on the business owner’s situation, it may also be beneficial to separate the business into different entities. In this case, it would be necessary to apply for another or multiple EINs.

It is also important to note that if a business changes ownership or the structure of the business is reorganized, the owner may be required to apply for a new EIN.

What if I forgot my EIN?

Sometimes, business owners lose the paperwork with their EIN on it. It might seem most convenient to reapply and secure a new EIN; however, the IRS will decline your application because a single business entity cannot have more than one EIN. If you find that you have forgotten or misplaced your EIN, there are a few actions you can take:

  • Look through your original business filing paperwork for the receipt
  • Review old tax returns
  • Look at your bank records to see if they list your EIN
  • Talk with your accountant or tax preparer
  • Check with the IRS

What circumstances require a new EIN?

Although an EIN is assigned to a business for the life of the entity, there are some situations in which you would need a new or additional EIN. The main reason that businesses find they need to apply for an EIN is that they have changed their business structure. For example, a partnership that dissolves into a Sole Proprietorship or decides to incorporate must apply for a new EIN.

Additional situations in which you need a new EIN include:

  • Sole Proprietorships undergoing bankruptcy
  • A statutory merger leads to the formation of a new Corporation
  • A subsidiary of a Corporation  
  • The Secretary of State issues a new charter for a Corporation
  • A Partnership ends and a new one begins
  • An existing Sole Proprietor business is purchased or inherited

Changes to the name or location of your business generally do not require a new EIN, although you might need to inform the IRS of these changes.

The simple answer to the question of how many EINs you are allowed is as many as the number of business entities you have. A single business or entity can have only one, although there are situations where you will need to apply for a new one due to changes to your business.

If your business needs another or multiple EINs, GovDocFiling can help. We remove the angst and aggravation of filing government documents, helping you avoid common mistakes to get things done right the first time. Apply here

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