The Fastest Way to Get a Tax ID Number Online

the fastest way to get a tax id number onlineThe first step to creating a new company is the actual company formation.

The formation of a new business entity is the foundation upon which everything else is built—imagine it is the birth certificate for a company.

The next step is for you to apply for a Federal Tax ID Number from the IRS. However, there is more than one way for you to get an EIN.

This Federal Tax ID Number (also referred to as an EIN) is necessary for every business that intends to operate in the United States; open a U.S. bank account, hire employees in the United States; work with other U.S. businesses; and, of course, file tax returns with the IRS.

Many people are under the impression that if the responsible party for the corporation or LLC has a U.S. address and valid Social Security Number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) then they will be able to easily obtain a Tax Identification Number online with the IRS.

Although this can sometimes be the case, there are several variables that can drastically delay Federal Tax ID Number applications at the IRS.

Ordering an EIN via the IRS Website

When new business owners apply online for a Federal Tax ID Number with the IRS, it is not unusual for the following message to appear: “We apologize for the inconvenience, but based on the information provided, we are unable to provide you with an EIN through this online assistant.”

When this occurs, the application needs to be faxed or emailed to the IRS, and you must then wait 10-14 days for the IRS to issue your new Tax ID Number.

Some of the triggers that cause this error message are:

  • A foreign address is listed on the EIN application.
  • If the responsible party is a business with an EIN previously obtained through the IRS online portal. Companies that have an EIN number that starts with 20, 26, 27, 45, 46 or 47 can identify their EIN as a number issued online via the IRS.
  • A foreign individual is listed as the responsible party of the application.
  • In our specialist’s experience, 99% of applications with an individual ITIN on line number 7B require additional documents in order to process the application. The IRS will then require confirmation as well, such as the ITIN card or letter, to proceed.
  • There was a previous company already formed in the same state, with the same company name and same responsible party, which never cancelled its EIN (by writing a letter to the IRS to terminate the EIN number).

Dealing with the IRS yourself can be frustrating. Sometimes, phoning the IRS help line with a simple question is preceded by a one-to-two-hour wait time.

In addition, the EIN application process can be delayed for additional reasons, such as:

  • Falsifying Information: Providing incorrect information on the SS4 application will certainly delay the process. Though it seems this should go without saying, it happens. The IRS is looking for complete and accurate information for the Responsible Party listed on the SS4 application, such as your legal name, your SSN or ITIN, etc. If you provide a name other than your legal name or list a social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number that doesn’t match, the IRS will stop the EIN application process until further clarification is provided. 
  • Special Characters: If your company name includes any special characters, this will also be an issue. The IRS allows the letters A through Z; the numbers 0 through 9; the ampersand symbol (&); and the hyphen (-). That’s it. If your company name includes anything else, such as a plus sign (+) or the at (@) symbol, the IRS requests that you either leave it off the application completely or spell it out instead, using “at” or “plus”, for example. This will help to speed up the application process.**

Due to the demand for new tax numbers and too few customer service personnel at the IRS, people all over the world have turned to us for assistance obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number online.

Harvard Business Services can help you apply for an EIN when we form your new Delaware entity. If you have any questions about establishing your company and obtaining the Federal EIN, please give us a call at 800-345-2677, Ext. 6133 or email us at


*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 Brett Melson, Andrew Millman

There are 3 comments left for The Fastest Way to Get a Tax ID Number Online

Lily Johnson said: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Very helpful post. I am thinking of starting a small business in the USA and I am looking for some good content like what are the mandatory requirements for the business. I found your blog post, clear information shared. Good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.

Loli said: Thursday, October 25, 2018

I already have an EIN but I lost it. How can I get the EIN again?

HBS Staff replied: Friday, November 2, 2018

It's not uncommon for an EIN to get misplaced. If you can't locate the Federal Tax ID Number for your company, there are several ways to find it. If we obtained the EIN on behalf of your company, we can provide the number to you. Simply call us at 800-345-2677 and we'll be happy to assist you. Please be advised we will resend the number to the email address we have on file.

Hesma Tyson said: Thursday, May 3, 2018

I am a foreigner without an ssn and wish to start a business in Maryland. I have not registered the company as yet since i am finding it difficult to obtain a tax number form the business.

HBS Staff replied: Monday, May 7, 2018

Here is some more information for you to read:

Please feel free to call us 9-5 EST and we can further assist you.

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