Generally , businesses need an Employer Identification Number ( EIN ) if they have employees , operate as a corporation / partnership , file federal taxes or to open a bank account .
An EIN is a unique nine-digit number that identifies your business for tax purposes . It ’ s similar to a Social Security number but is meant for business related items only . It ’ s helpful to apply for one as soon as you start planning your business . This will ensure there are no delays in getting the appropriate licenses or financing that you may need to operate .
You may apply for an EIN in various ways , and now you may apply online . This is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service and you can get your EIN immediately .