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An Employer Identification Number—also called a Federal Employer Identification Number—is used by the Internal Revenue Service to identify your company for federal tax purposes. It is essentially a Social Security Number for businesses.
An EIN is obtained by filing the Form SS-4 with the IRS, which can be done online. While most businesses will need an EIN, not every California LLC or corporation does.
Do You Need an EIN for a California Business?
The IRS has specific criteria for which companies need an EIN and which do not. The following criteria are from the IRS itself. If your business falls into one of the following categories, you will need to obtain an EIN.
- You formed a California corporation or partnership
- You have employees
- You are required to file Employment, Excise, or Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms tax returns
- You withhold taxes on income (other than wages) paid to a non-resident alien
- You have a Keogh plan
- You are involved with: a trust, estate, real estate mortgage investment conduit, non-profit, farmers co-op, or plan administrator
It should be noted that most banks will require an EIN before opening a business bank account.
How to Get an EIN for a California Business
You can apply for and receive an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service by submitting a Form SS-4. This can be done online, by phone, by mail, or by fax.
We suggest online filing, as this is the fastest and simplest method.
Toll-Free Number: 800-829-4933
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
There is no fee to obtain an EIN.