Federal Tax ID Numbers for Non-U.S. Citizens

federal tax id numbers for non-us citizensEntrepreneurs from all over the world incorporate their companies in Delaware in order to take advantage of Delaware’s prestigious corporate law structure.

Each founder aspires to create the next great Delaware company, such as Facebook, Google, Uber or Twitter.

At Harvard Business Services, Inc., we love being a part of the entrepreneurial process—helping people form their companies, obtaining their Federal Tax ID Numbers for them and cheering them on as they start to achieve their goals.

People from all over the world inquire about obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number or EIN (Employer Identification Number) for their new businesses.

Some people think that because they do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), a U.S. address or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) that they cannot obtain an EIN and therefore cannot form an LLC in Delaware.

This is not true. If you do not have a Social Security number, you are not disqualified from obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number. Let's find out how a non-U.S. citizen can get an EIN Number and form a Delaware company.

How to Obtain an EIN without a SSN

First, you will be required to fill out and submit an SS4 Form, just as any U.S. resident would. The address listed on the SS4 Form can be anywhere in the world. The IRS is only interested in knowing where the business is operating.

In order to obtain an EIN online, you will need a Social Security Number or U.S. address. However, an EIN for non-U.S. citizens can still be acquired by mailing or faxing the application to the IRS. In this case, you will be required to provide a copy of the passport for the person listed as the responsible party.

Be very careful when applying for your EIN as a foreigner, as there are potential drawbacks to dealing with the IRS on your own.

EINs for non-US residentsIf the EIN application is not prepared correctly or is transmitted illegibly, the IRS may fax you a letter of rejection. This letter of rejection can sometimes take weeks to receive; once it is received, you are welcome to re-apply for the EIN, but you will have to start the process from the beginning.

Our dedicated team in the Filings Department will be responsible for making sure your SS4 application is prepared and filed correctly in order to ensure the timely approval of your Federal Tax ID Number.

If there are any problems, we will call the IRS to resolve the issue, thus saving you time and energy so you can concentrate on your new company.  

We can typically obtain an EIN for any international client in seven to twenty business days once we receive a signed SS4 form.

The responsible party controls, manages or directs the applicant’s entity and the distribution of its funds and assets. The responsible party for a corporation must be an actual person, but this person can be an officer of the corporation and he/she can live anywhere in the world.

The responsible party of an LLC can be a member or managing member from anywhere in the world. The responsible party simply signs the document and emails or faxes it back to us. We will follow up with the IRS on your behalf if the EIN is not received in a timely fashion. This can save you hours of frustration, since contacting the IRS can be a lesson in futility at times.  

If you would like to apply for a Federal Tax ID Number for a new or existing company, please call us, regardless of whether or not you have a U.S. Social Security number, ITIN or U.S. address. We can help alleviate the hassle of dealing with an often uncooperative and unfriendly IRS. Please call 1-800-345-2677, Ext. 6910.

You can also learn more about how to obtain an EIN without a SSN or an ITIN in this blog post.

*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

More By Devin Scott

There are 41 comments left for Federal Tax ID Numbers for Non-U.S. Citizens

Ali said: Thursday, April 13, 2023

Hi, I've registered an LLC in WY received EIN for the LLC. I want to apply for EIN as a non US resident individual. Please guide me if I can send filled in SS4 form with my personal details as an individual and get EIN?

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Hi Ali,

Thank you for your questions and for reading our blog. It appears you are looking to obtain an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number). You will need to contact the IRS directly at 800-829-4933.

Andyha said: Thursday, April 13, 2023

I am a non US resident. If I register a LLC in Delaware, what taxes do i pay every year?. And, what if I do not file the taxes and pay taxes. Thanks

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Hi Andyha,

Thank you for your question and for reading our blog. There are many variables when it comes to U.S Federal Taxes. Generally, a non-U.S. citizen with a non U.S. source of income doesn't pay U.S. Federal taxes. Due to the many variables it would be best to speak with an Accountant. 

To maintain the life of the company here in Delaware there are two annual fees.

1. The annual Delaware Franchise Tax has no bearing on income or business activities. It is the price you pay for the right or privlege to be incorporated in the State of Delaware and it is due every year on June 1 and is $300 per year. 

2. The annual Delaware Registered Agent fee. You are required by law to have a Delaware Registered Agent if you don't have a physical address here  in Delaware. The Registered Agent is the liasion between you and the State of Delaware. Harvard Business Services, Inc.annual Delaware Registered Agent fee is $50 per year and guaranteed never to increase for the life of the company.

Orku said: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hello there. I'm non US resident and I want to know, if I still can get an EIN number without forming a company? And let's say, I will form an LLC soon or later. Can I still use this EIN number for my LLC or not? Will I have to apply for new EIN number for that LLC or this EIN number I already have for myself would still work on that LLC of mine? Same questions goes for an ITIN number also.

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Generally, you have to obtain a new EIN for each business entity. This post should help explain the difference between the EIN and the ITIN: https://www.delawareinc.com/blog/ein-vs-itin. Please let us know if you have additional questions.

Pedro said: Friday, January 8, 2021

I'm a foreigner interested in the Green International Delaware Corporation Formation Package to get an EIN and also the basic mail forwarding address, but I have a question. This is to start a C corporation to publish in Amazon KDP. On their tax interview, they require a permanent and a mailing address. Could I use the address from your service?

HBS Staff replied: Monday, January 11, 2021

Hi Pedro, when listing the official physical address of your business, you cannot use our address. Your actual, physical address where you are located is required. You can find additional information on this page (see questions toward the bottom): https://www.delawareinc.com/ourservices/mail-forwarding/

Ashley McQuinn said: Friday, November 20, 2020

Hi, how long does will it take to get EIN as a foreigner if applied today through your company? Any issues due to pandemic causing delays?

HBS Staff replied: Friday, November 20, 2020

Yes, the IRS is still experiencing significant delays related to the pandemic. These delays typically affect orders submitted by fax, which is the required method for most international applications. We have been seeing delays of approximately 45 days recently, but we cannot guarantee or predict whether that will stay the same going forward.

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