All multi-member LLCs and LLCs with employees need an employer identification number (EIN) for federal tax filing purposes. Only single-member LLCs with no employees and taxed as disregarded entities can apply without an EIN. Applying for an EIN is free and takes just moments on the IRS’s website. In the instance where a Sole Proprietorship does have an EIN, please provide the EIN with your application.
When completing your application, EINs are required for corporations and partnerships. EINs are optional for sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs. If a business hires employees, they must obtain an EIN.
You will not need to have an EIN to continue the application process as a sole proprietorship business type. Instead, you are welcome to provide your SSN number in place of the EIN number.
If you do not have an EIN for the business, please complete the application with your SSN in place of the EIN. This is correct because if you do not have another tax ID number (EIN) for the business, the legal tax ID associated with your sole proprietorship or single-member LLC would be your SSN. This is because SSNs can be used in a business capacity when you’re running a business that’s not required to file taxes separately from its owners, such as sole proprietorships and most single-member LLCs with no employees. Businesses that don’t file tax returns apart from their owners are called disregarded entities and can use an SSN in place of the EIN on the application.
However, I recommend waiting to apply with an EIN if you anticipate receiving an EIN in the near future. If you receive a new EIN with your business name, we will be unable to update your current account as this would be a new business.
Learn more about how to apply for an EIN from Fundera.