How to apply
You can complete your application for an Employer Identification Number online:
This is the fastest way to get your EIN. The site will validate your information and issue the EIN immediately. To use the online application, the following must be true:
- Your principal business, office, or legal residence is in the United States or a United States Territory; and
- The responsible party (principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, trustee, etc.) must have a valid Social Security number, Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN), or EIN.
Apply by fax or mail
Complete an IRS Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, and fax or mail it to the IRS. Where to send it depends on if your business is inside or outside the US – the addresses and fax numbers are on IRS.gov - "Where to File Your Taxes" (for Form SS-4).
If you provide a fax number on the application, you should receive a fax with the EIN within four business days. The processing time for a mailed application is about four weeks.
Apply by phone
Only international applicants can apply for an EIN by phone. Call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time, Monday through Friday).
The person calling must be authorized to receive the EIN and can answer the questions on IRS Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number. It’s helpful to fill out the form before calling because the IRS employee will need that information. You can receive your EIN by phone and use it immediately to file a tax return or make a payment.
NOTE: The IRS will limit the EIN issuance to one per responsible party per day. This limitation is applicable to all requests for an EIN whether online, by mail or fax.
If you've lost your EIN
If you've lost your EIN, there are a few places you should look:
- The original confirmation of your EIN application,
- Previously filed tax returns, and
- A bank or agency if you used your EIN to open an account or get a license.
You can also ask the IRS to search for your EIN. Call the Business & Specialty Tax Line - (800) 829-4933. The line is open 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday.
Need to cancel an EIN?
EINs can't be canceled – they are unique identifiers that aren't reused. If you got a number but later decide you don’t need it, you can write a letter to the IRS and ask it to close your business account. For example: You received a number, but never started the business or exempt organization.