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

By Devin Scott Tuesday, February 9, 2016

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.

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, a U.S. address or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) that they cannot obtain an EIN.

This is not true. If you do not have a Social Security number, you are not disqualified from obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number.

How Does a Non-U.S. Citizen Obtain an EIN?

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, the application for an EIN can be still mailed or faxed to the IRS if you do not meet these requirements. In this case, you will be required to provide a copy of the passport for the person listed as the responsible party. You can email a copy to us at ein@delawareinc.com.

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

EINs for non-US residentsIf the 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 reapply 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.

*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 33 comments left for Federal Tax ID Numbers for Non-U.S. Citizens

MJ said: Sunday, February 25, 2018

I'm live in the Philippines and I would like to start my own online business in the US. But I dont have a US address in order for me to apply for an EIN number. Any tips on how I should proceed?

HBS Staff replied: Monday, February 26, 2018

You do not need a U.S address to apply for an EIN for a U.S company; an international address can be used on the SS-4 form as the mailing and physical address for the company.

sheena said: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

i need a federal Id nunber for this school harris health system

HBS Staff replied: Monday, February 5, 2018

Feel free to call our office for EIN assistance: 1-800-345-2677.

Erich said: Monday, January 29, 2018

Hi there I need a itin fro the irs I am a south african individual Need tbis urgently to register for a seller on amazon Can you please help with this Regards Erich

HBS Staff replied: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Unfortunately, we cannot assist with ITINs. You have to contact the IRS directly.

Mark said: Saturday, December 23, 2017

I am in Canada and I would like to open an LLC in the USA to apply for amazon seller. Do i need EIN, Tax ID and SSN?

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, December 27, 2017

We are happy to assist you in forming your Delaware company and obtaining the Federal Tax ID Number, which is also known as an EIN. Think of the Federal Tax ID Number as the Social Security Number for your business; it will help you to operate lawful business activities in the U.S., open a U.S. bank account and hire U.S. employees. We do not require you to have a U.S. Social Security Number in order to obtain a Federal Tax ID Number. You can call us at 1-800-345-CORP or live chat with us from our homepage.

Danny Greeme said: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This was some really great information.

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Glad you found it helpful. Thanks for reading our blog!

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