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After forming a Delaware corporation or LLC (limited liability company), the next step is to get an an EIN number -- also known as an Employer Identification Number or Federal Tax ID Number.
Think of the EIN as the social security number for your company. It is a nine digit number that is issued by the IRS: for example, 01-2345678.
The Federal Tax ID Number is necessary for an LLC or corporation to lawfully conduct business activities, especially if you're operating a business in the United States. All U.S. companies are required to have an EIN to open a U.S. bank account, obtain loans, hire employees and more.
The EIN is valid for the life of the company. However, if your business changes its entity type (for example, it changes from an LLC to a corporation), a new Federal Tax ID Number is typically required.
If you're forming a new Delaware company with us, save time by requesting that we apply for the EIN for you when we file your corporation or LLC. When you fill out our company order form, simply select the option to have us obtain your Federal Tax ID number, and we'll take care of the rest.
If you’ve already formed your company, we offer an inexpensive service to help businesses apply for an EIN number with the IRS (the U.S. Internal Revenue Service) that allows you to avoid dealing with often-confusing IRS forms and procedures. As with everything we do, getting your EIN number with us includes our expert customer support.
Our processing time for EIN orders will depend on how we are able to submit your filing to the IRS. If a filing contains a non-U.S. address or the member does not have a SSN (Social Security Number) issued by the United States, it must be submitted by fax or scan.
All other filings will be processed online unless the EIN cannot be obtained, in which case it will have to be faxed. Processing times begin after we receive you sign and return the SS-4 form we will send you.
Orders submitted online to the IRS: 3 - 4 business days
Orders submitted by fax to the IRS: 7-20 business days*
*Minor delays may occur that are out of our control, but the IRS has began processing requests by fax in their standard time frame as of July 2021.
Please note that if you do not have a U.S. Address or U.S. Social Security Number, you will be required to provide a copy of the passport or government-issued ID for the person listed as the "responsible party" after submitting your order.
Responsible party has U.S. address and valid SSN
Responsible party does not have U.S. address or valid SSN
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 you lose your EIN, you can contact the IRS directly within the U.S.at 800-829-4933, or at (267) 941-1099 if you are not in the U.S., request a replacement confirmation letter (also called a 147C letter). The IRS will fax it to you.
If we obtained the EIN number on behalf of your company, feel free to request that the 147C letter be faxed to us at (302) 645-1280. Once the fax has been received, we will email the letter to you as a courtesy.
Unfortunately, we are not able to contact the IRS on behalf of your company due to its strict privacy policies. Be prepared for lengthy hold times when you call the IRS; our clients have reported that hold times tend to be shorter the earlier in the morning you call. Try calling as close to 9 a.m. Eastern Time as possible.
If you have any questions about obtaining an EIN for your Delaware company or requesting a 147C letter from the IRS, feel free to contact us with your questions at 800-345-2677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes, individuals or businesses want (or need) to locate the EIN number for another business, such as for tax reporting or simply to validate information.
In many cases, if this is a company you are dealing with in a business capacity, you can simply ask them for their EIN number. If you will be making payments to them, you will want to request a w-9 form from them, which notes the EIN number.
If you are not working with them directly, there are often other ways to locate a company’s EIN. For instance, if the company is publicly traded, you can use a searchable public database on the SEC website to find documents that will show any company’s EIN number.
For private companies, you may still be able to find an EIN by searching the internet for official documents that may be available to the public, such as filings required by their local municipalities or industry permits.
As a last resort, you can use a service such as Credit.net to find and purchase a business credit report that typically includes the EIN number. We recommend verifying you will receive the information you’re looking for prior to making payment to any such service.
Please note: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not affiliated with the state of Delaware or the IRS.
The HBS Blog offers insight on Delaware corporations and LLCs as well as information about entrepreneurship, startups and general business topics.
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