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What is a Tax ID? What is an EIN? Are they the same thing?
There are a few different names that all refer to the same nine-digit number — with the format 12-3456789 — that all entities must obtain from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to start a business, even if it does not plan to have any employees. This number is used to identify a business entity or additional entities like Estates or Trusts, just as you as an individual would be identified by your Social Security Number.

Below are the names and acronyms for this number:

  • Tax ID Number (TIN)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Federal Tax ID
  • Federal Tax ID Number (Federal TIN)

The most common names are EIN and Tax ID.

You will need an EIN/Tax ID Number if you:

  • Hired or will hire employees, including household employees
  • Opened a bank account that requires an EIN
  • Formed or created a Trust, pension plan, Corporation, Partnership or LLC
  • Need to open a business bank account or want to start a business line of credit
  • Changed the legal character or ownership of your organization (i.e., you incorporate a Sole Proprietorship or form a Partnership)
  • Represent an Estate that operates a business after the owner’s death

Depending on the type of business established, a Tax ID will grant certain benefits unique to the business entity. With a Tax ID, you’ll be eligible to establish a bank account in the company’s name, apply for credit and, in some instances, file income taxes separate from the business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I complete a Tax ID application?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, you will need to file a Tax ID application:

  • Do you have any employees?
  • Are you establishing a Partnership or a Corporation?
  • Are you a Sole Proprietor/Individual who wishes to obtain a bank account or credit card in the name of the business?
  • Are you paying income taxes or other wages to a non-resident alien?
  • Does your business entity have a Keogh plan?
    • Note: A Keogh plan is a tax-deferred pension plan available to self-employed individuals or unincorporated businesses for retirement purposes. A Keogh plan can be set up as either a defined-benefit or defined-contribution plan, although
      most plans are defined as contributions.
  • Is your business involved with organizations that include Trusts, IRAs, Estates, Non-profits, farmers’ cooperatives or plan administrators?
How do I apply for a Tax ID Number/EIN?

The IRS assigns Tax IDs through an application process.

There are three steps to obtaining your EIN:

  1. Select your entity type
  2. Fill out the information on the one-page form (SS-4)
  3. Submit a one-time filing fee. Most EINs are processed same or next business day, unless bundled with state formations, processing times will vary.
When will I receive my Tax ID and when will I be able to use it?

GovDocFiling is committed to removing the angst and aggravation of filing government documents, helping you avoid common mistakes to get things done right the first time and move forward with your business needs.

GovDocFiling will process your application (SS-4 Form) with the IRS to obtain your EIN/Tax ID and deliver it to you quickly and securely via email, typically within the same day of submitting your application online. Your EIN can be used immediately for most of your business needs, including:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Applying for a business license in your state
  • Filing a tax return by mail

It’s important to note that it can take up to two weeks for your Tax ID to become recognized by official IRS records. You may have to wait until you can use your EIN to file an electronic tax return, make an e-payment or pass an IRS Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) matching program.

Please also note that banks have different requirements. Some banks may require the official letter from the IRS, which is sent to the address provided in the online Tax ID application. This can take up to four weeks to arrive.

Benefits to filing with GovDocFiling

You do not have to waste time dealing with the IRS on your own.

Going through the IRS directly to get your EIN can be complicated, confusing and frustrating. GovDocFiling alleviates the angst and aggravation of filing government documents.

We offer 24/7 email and phone support to help you through the process.

Emails are answered quickly at

GovDocFiling has one low price for same-day processing and delivery of your EIN.

Other Tax ID filing services charge more than $300 for same-day service.

Get your Tax ID questions answered quickly and file your SS-4 form with the IRS with peace of mind.

What entity type is right for me?

The first step in starting your business is deciding which entity type best describes your business. This can be tough to decipher, so we have created a simple survey to help guide you in the right direction. You can start the survey here or review the comprehensive resources for each entity type, including Limited Liability Corporation, C-Corporation and S-Corporation, under the “Start your business” section of the website.


Depending on the type of business established, a Tax ID will grant certain benefits unique to the business entity. With a Tax ID, you’ll be eligible to establish a bank account in the company’s name, apply for credit and, in some instances, file income taxes separate from the business.

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