There is a misconception that obtaining an EIN is voluntary and discretionary. In reality, almost every company established in the United States is required to obtain this number. The IRS website provides a series of questions for your convenience, a positive answer to any of which indicates the necessity of having an EIN. Among these are the presence of hired employees, filing tax returns, the Keogh plan, and others.
This number identifies the company and is used when completing all official documents. EIN is issued only once and is perpetual; it does not change or get reissued after assignment.
Entities of all legal forms can obtain an EIN: Limited Liability Companies (LLC), corporations (C-Corp, S-Corp), partnerships, as well as trusts, government agencies, and individuals registered as sole proprietors.
You can apply for an EIN online, by phone, by mail, or by fax to the IRS, by first filling out Form SS4. Properly filling out the SS4 form is crucial, as it saves time and ensures you receive your EIN on the first attempt.