If you’re planning to start a business in the US, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is used to distinguish between businesses and individual taxpayers. An EIN can be obtained online or by submitting Form SS-4, which must be filed in person at a local IRS office.
But what if you’re not physically present in the United States? Fortunately, there are ways for international applicants like yourself to apply for an EIN from abroad using the IRS’s Virtual Terminal System (iVTS) or through getting EIN services.
In this article, you’ll go over the steps needed to obtain an EIN as an international applicant so your new business can get off on the right foot.
What Is An Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number used to identify your business to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It also identifies your business as a separate entity from its owner.
The EIN is similar to Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for individuals. It must be obtained before launching a business in the United States, especially if you’re doing business with other companies.
This unique number can be used to apply for a tax ID number, which will then help your new business file its taxes accurately and on time. It’s also essential when opening up bank accounts or applying for loans or licenses, so you must get one as soon as possible.
Who Needs to Have an EIN?
The IRS requires all businesses, including sole proprietorships and partnerships, to have an EIN. Your EIN is used to identify your business and to file your tax return. You can use your EIN on any form where a business is identified.
You may need to obtain an EIN if you are a sole proprietor, partnership, multinational corporation, non-profit organization, estate executor/administrator, or trustee. This is because, as mentioned, an EIN is required to open bank accounts, file taxes, and get loans. You’ll also be required to have an EIN if you’re the beneficiary of a trust.
If you’re a sole proprietor and you’ve been operating as a business for six months or more, then you need an EIN. You’ll also need one if you’re starting a new business.
How to Obtain an EIN As An International Applicant?
The first thing you need to know is that an EIN (Employer Identification Number) is a number that identifies your business as a separate entity from its owner. In the United States, this number has been used for more than 60 years to identify and track businesses required to pay taxes.
The process for obtaining an EIN is straightforward, but it requires knowledge of your country’s laws and regulations.
If you’re a foreigner planning to start a company or business in the US, getting an EIN is essential for several reasons. You will need it if you want to open a bank account or file taxes as a business entity in this country. It’ll help you avoid penalties and fines by the IRS. If you don’t have this number, they won’t be able to tell if you’re operating a legitimate business.
Some international applicants may be eligible for an EIN. You can apply for an EIN online by visiting www.irs.gov and filling out the application form. Alternatively, you can use form SS-4 or download it from their website and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form.
You may also submit a written request for an EIN by telephone or fax, but you must include a copy of your passport as well as other documentation that proves your foreign nationality status.
Here’s how to go through the process of applying for EIN as an international applicant:
Determine If You Should Apply for an EIN Online or Using Form SS-4
The easiest way to know if you should apply for an EIN online or using Form SS-4 is to determine if you’re a sole proprietor or business entity. If you’re a sole proprietor, apply for an EIN online. If you’re a business entity, then you must complete and submit form SS-4.
Applying for Your EIN
To apply for your EIN, you’ll need to fill out Form SS-4. You can access this form online or request a copy by mail, in person, or over the phone.
You can fill out the form online by visiting www.irs.gov/businesses and clicking on ‘Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).’ You’ll need to enter your basic information, including your name and address, along with the contact information of an authorized officer who’ll sign off on your application.
Alternatively, you can request a printable version of Form SS-4 by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). If this isn’t convenient for you, visit an IRS office during their hours of operation(7a.m to 10 p.m.).
Once you’ve completed the form and received confirmation from Taxpayer Advocate Service that they’ve received it along with any additional documentation needed (i.e., bank statement), they’ll send back your EIN electronically within two days after to proceed with filing taxes and other business matters properly.
Open A Business Account
You can now open a business account and kickstart your business after getting your EIN. Make sure you have the right kind of business entity. If you’re a sole proprietor, you can use your EIN as your tax ID. If you’re a partnership, LLC, or corporation, you’ll also need to use your EIN. It’s vital to be sure that your partnership name is right. The bank will want to know the other names associated with the business.
If you’re an international applicant not yet working in the US but planning on doing so in the future, you’ll need an EIN. An EIN is a tax ID number, and it’s crucial as an international applicant because it helps you open your business bank account. Additionally, it helps you enact your business identity with the IRS and ensure you comply with taxation. Therefore, you need one if you want to start a business in the US.