9 Benefits of Getting an EIN (Even If You Don’t Have To) – NerdWallet

An employer identification number — besides known as an EIN or business tax ID — is a singular nine-digit number that you use when charge taxes for your occupation. An EIN besides helps you register a business entity, obtain a business loan, open a business bank account and much more. An EIN is as authoritative for your party as a Social Security number is in your personal life sentence. For some businesses, an EIN is a tax necessity. Getting an EIN is optional for other businesses, but there ’ randomness adept rationality to get one anyhow. In fact, there are some discrete advantages you stand to gain by applying for an EIN. And the good newsworthiness is that applying for an EIN is free and takes just minutes. Learn when an EIN is required and when it ’ mho optional, how to get one and the chief benefits of getting an EIN.

When an EIN is and isn’t required

many people associate EINs with bad corporations, but even a mercenary or the owner of a very belittled business might need an EIN to file clientele taxes and for other purposes. If you do need a clientele tax ID, the best practice is to get one a soon as you open your business, as part of your commercial enterprise launch checklist. The trace types of businesses must get an EIN for tax purposes :

  • Any type of business entity with employees ( including sole proprietors ) .
  • Corporations and any entity taxed as a pot .
  • Multi-member LLCs .
  • If you buy a business or inherit a business .
  • If you have a Keogh plan or solo 401 ( kelvin ) retirement plan .
  • If you file for bankruptcy .

For promote aid determining if you need an EIN, check out the IRS ’ questionnaire. Unless you meet any of the descriptors above, you most probable wear ’ t need an EIN. That means millions of lone proprietors, including freelancers, technically don ’ t need an EIN. But there are enough of reasons to get one anyhow.

9 benefits of getting an EIN (even if you’re not required to)

You should consider getting an EIN even if you ’ rhenium not required to get one. generally speaking, having an EIN helps you separate your personal finances and personal liveliness from your business. And that ’ s important to simplify account and bookkeeping, and to limit liability in the case of a lawsuit. Often, foregoing an EIN now can cost you meter and money down the line.

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even if you ’ rhenium not required to get an EIN, the benefits of getting an EIN include the following :

1. File business taxes and avoid tax penalties

If you don ’ t have your EIN by tax day and were supposed to get one, you have to fill out specific paperwork to notify the IRS. If you forget to do that, the IRS might not accept your charge, and you could face penalties for a late return key. Plus, for certain types of tax deductions, such as home position deductions, your chances of an IRS audit decrease if you have an EIN. “ If the business owner has any desire to get tax benefits from owning and running a business in-house, such as wanting to deduct a room as an office, then having an EIN will help them make that lawsuit better and more effectively, ” says lawyer Janet Gershen-Siegel. “ Personal office deductions have a tendency to bring on IRS audited account. Why not make your case before you have to ? ”

2. Prevent identity theft

You might be surprised to learn that getting an EIN is an effective way to help prevent identity larceny. An EIN separates your personal finances from business finances. once you have an EIN, you don ’ t have to provide your personal Social Security act to clients or vendors who you do business with. alternatively, you can provide your EIN. Providing your EIN means you can keep your Social Security number more secret, lowering the chances of a thief stealing it and getting access to your hard-earned profits. Thieves do steal EINs as well, but the problem international relations and security network ’ metric ton equally far-flung as consumer identity larceny — at least sol far.

3. Add credibility as a freelancer or independent contractor

For freelancers and independent contractors, losing even one client can make a large fiscal dispute. You want to do everything you can to cement your condition as a legitimate commercial enterprise owner. When you take on a node, you ’ ll have to provide either a Social Security total or EIN to them, so they can furnish you a 1099 tax form. Having an EIN adds more credibility and signifies that you have a serious business, as opposed to something you ’ re just doing as a side gig. According to Gershen-Siegel, “ Occasionally selling stuff or providing a service, and doing sol without an EIN, can give a occupation owner a feel that what they ‘re doing international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate truly a business, per selenium. That they can quit at any clock time, no big softwood. It ‘s a room to kind of not ‘ go all in. ’ But with an EIN, you ‘ve told the IRS ( and, effectively, the global ) that you ‘ve got a business and not a avocation. ” In addition, having a business tax ID proves that you ’ re an mugwump contractor, rather than an employee, and that ’ s attractive to companies who ’ five hundred want to hire you. Companies conserve money and minimize legal responsibilities by hiring mugwump contractors, so any evidence in patronize of your status as an independent contractor can help you attract clients.

4. Speed up business loan applications

You can speed up the action of applying for a business loanword if you have an EIN. Most lenders don ’ metric ton explicitly require one. As long you have any necessity business permits or licenses and are legally qualified to do commercial enterprise, you can apply for the loan. The capture is that many lenders require applicants to have a business bank score with a certain number of deposits. This is to ensure that you have a place to receive the loan funds and make periodic loan payments. To get a commercial enterprise bank account, you much need an EIN. In accession, some lenders, including SBA lenders, check clientele accredit when evaluating your loan application. Having an EIN helps you build business credit, without which you might not be eligible for the lend ( more on this former ).

5. Open a business bank account

Some banks allow exclusive proprietors to open a business trust report without an EIN, but others have stricter policies. Bank of America checking and savings accounts, for example, require proof of EIN from sole proprietors and all early types of businesses. Along with your EIN, you ’ ll need to provide a few early documents to open a business check or savings account. These include your commercial enterprise ’ s formation date, business placement, legal business diagnose and personal information about the owner. And once you open a business bank explanation, make surely the only money going into or out of the report is for clientele purposes.

6. Build trust with vendors

As a small-business owner, it ’ s not possible to do everything by yourself while building your company. You frequently have to rely on vendors, suppliers and partnerships with other businesses to achieve your goals. Having an EIN makes such third parties more likely to work with you.

These parties might want to check your business credit before signing up to work with you. wholesale distributors often require an EIN check before they ’ ll do business with a retailer. Having an EIN shows that you have a credible business and are a responsible person who will pay the seller on time.

7. Establish business credit

An EIN is key to establishing a business credit history. Business credit history is like to your personal credit history. But alternatively of measuring your personal fiscal habits, business credit evaluates your company ’ randomness history of bill requital and fiscal province. Your business has a commercial citation reputation. similar to what ’ randomness contained in a consumer accredit report, a commercial or business credit rating report contains a summary of your occupation ’ s credit accounts and payment history. Loans, clientele credit poster activity and payments to vendors and suppliers show up on your business accredit report. Anytime you apply for credit by providing your EIN, that account will show up on your clientele credit report. If you ’ re on time with that report, your commercial enterprise accredit grade will see a promote, which can help you qualify for good rates on business loans and favorable terms from suppliers.

8. Easily hire employees

If you have employees or are on the verge of hiring employees, then you need an EIN. But even if you have no immediate plans to hire employees, getting one is a good idea if you think you might at some point in the future. That can be difficult to predict, but if you plan to scale your occupation to the indicate where you might need an supernumerary put of hands, getting an EIN doesn ’ triiodothyronine suffer. An EIN lets you set up a payroll system vitamin a soon as you hire your first employee, without any delays in the lease march.

9. Get more options as an overseas entrepreneur

Having an EIN can be particularly helpful for starting a business if you ’ re a non-U.S. citizen without a Social Security act. extraneous nationals can apply for an EIN by contacting the IRS. With an EIN in hand, you might be able to apply for a clientele credit poster or open a clientele savings bank account before you get a Social Security number. This gives you some headway in launching your clientele and might even give you a competitive advantage if you need to move cursorily.

How to apply for an EIN

It ’ mho absolve to get an EIN on the IRS ’ web site. You can apply on-line or by mail, fax or, for extraneous applicants, call. Applying on-line is the easiest method and takes precisely a few minutes. The person applying for the EIN must be an owner, chief or policeman of the business ( or you can sign a exhaust to have a third party apply on your behalf ). Before you apply, make certain the applicant has their own personal Social Security number, the business ’ s address and establish date available. If you apply on-line, you ’ ll receive your EIN instantaneously.

Does your EIN ever change?

once you obtain your EIN from the IRS, it ’ south effective immediately. You can start using it right away to apply for loans, open a bank explanation or to provide to a seller. In most cases, your EIN will remain with you throughout the course of your business. however, if the structure or possession of your business changes, then you ’ ll need a newfangled EIN. For case, if you have a sole proprietorship but late decide to incorporate, you ’ ll need a modern EIN. similarly, if you decide to bring a collaborator on control panel, you ’ ll need a raw EIN to reflect that change. however, smaller changes, such as changing your business name or adding a new business location, don ’ t require a newfangled EIN. And if you ever lose or misplace your EIN, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worry. Looking up your occupation tax ID act is pretty simple. You can locate your EIN on old tax papers or contact the IRS for aid.

Frequently asked questions

What if I get an EIN and never use it?

There are no minus repercussions if you get an EIN and ultimately never use it. even if it seems like you ’ ll never use it, having one gives you the choice down the road to take advantage of its benefits of having one. Plus, it ‘s free and easy to apply for one.

Can I open a business bank account without an EIN?

You can open a business depository financial institution report without an EIN in some cases, but many lenders do require applicants to have a business bank account with a certain number of deposits. Some banks allow sole proprietors to open a business bank account without an EIN, but others have stricter policies.

Can I use my Social Security number instead of an EIN?

In some cases, you can use your Social Security numeral alternatively of an EIN, but using an EIN provides a degree of personal protective covering against identity larceny. An EIN separates your personal finances from your occupation finances. once you have an EIN, you don ’ t have to provide your Social Security number to clients or vendors who you do business with. In the case of foreign nationals starting businesses in the U.S., an EIN can come in handy when applying for a business accredit card or opening a occupation bank bill before they get a Social Security number .

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Can I use an EIN to apply for credit?

Yes, you can use an EIN to apply for credit, and doing thus will contribute to your occupation ’ mho credit report alternatively of your personal one. Loans, business accredit card activity and payments to vendors and suppliers show up on your business credit rating report .

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