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Form SS-4 & Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Question: Does a small company that operates as a sole proprietorship need a tax ID number?

Answer:

  • A sole proprietor without employees and who doesn't file any excise or pension plan tax returns doesn't need an employer identification number (EIN) (but can get one if they choose). In this instance, the sole proprietor uses his or her social security number as the taxpayer identification number. However, at any time the sole proprietor hires an employee or has to file an excise tax return, the sole proprietor will need an EIN for the business and can't use his or her social security number.
  • If you have an existing EIN as a sole proprietor and become a sole owner of an LLC (Limited Liability Company) that has employees, you need to get a separate EIN for the LLC to file employment taxes.

Additional Information:


Category: Small Business, Self-Employed, Other Business
Subcategory: Form SS-4 & Employer Identification Number (EIN)

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:T:SP
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224