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

Ebuka said: Monday, November 9, 2020

What is the Total Cost of obtaining EIN from you ? I want to use it for Amazon KDP and Audio book. I live in Nigeria. Thanks

HBS Staff replied: Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The cost to have us obtain an EIN on your behalf would be $95. You can find more information here: https://www.delawareinc.com/ourservices/obtain-tax-id-or-ein-for-delaware-company/. Please be aware that the IRS is still experiencing significant delays in fulfilling EIN orders for many non-US residents.

Dean said: Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hello! I am arriving to U.S. after 30 years for the first time will the IRS call me to pay my unpaid $100 tax bill?

HBS Staff replied: Monday, August 3, 2020

Unfortunately we cannot offer specific guidance on your situation. It would be best to consult an accountant or attorney familiar with your situation.

SHARON SHAW said: Saturday, May 9, 2020

Hello, i'm trying to obtain an EIN number to trade in the US as a foreign company but the IRS are not taking live chats and faxes not going through. Can you help me with this? If so what are your fees? Thanks

HBS Staff replied: Monday, May 11, 2020

We are currently experiencing the same issues with helping our clients obtain EIN numbers. While we cannot do anything about the IRS delays, we would be happy to apply on your behalf as soon as we're able. More information on our rates and service can be found here: https://www.delawareinc.com/ourservices/obtain-tax-id-or-ein-for-delaware-company/

Mohammad ayyub said: Saturday, February 29, 2020

I am a freelancer I want work online organisations so that's why I want us tax ID what is the process please help me out thanks for cooperating

HBS Staff replied: Monday, March 2, 2020

This page will help you understand the process of getting an EIN (Tax ID) - https://www.delawareinc.com/ourservices/obtain-tax-id-or-ein-for-delaware-company/. If you also need to form your LLC, we are happy to help with that as well. Please feel free to contact us by phone, email, WhatsApp or live chat.

James said: Monday, January 27, 2020

im a third party seller in Canada, dealing with amazaon mostly. im looking to expand to other companies. some require me to get a US tax ID and duns number. if I have a duns number do I also need a tax id? or can I operate soley with my duns

HBS Staff replied: Monday, January 27, 2020

The DUNS number and EIN are separate things with separate purposes. A DUNS number is typically obtained after the company is formed and provided by a private company (Dun & Bradstreet). The EIN is provided by the IRS, part of the federal government, and is typically required for companies formed in the U.S. when they are formed. Many of our clients obtain both of these numbers for their companies.

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