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SS4 form instructions: Step-by-step guide & EIN information

Learn where to get an SS4 form and how to fill it out to register for an employment identification number (EIN) by reading through our step-by-step guide.

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When launching a new business there are numerous responsibilities you’ll need to prepare in order to operate legally within your state. One of the most important tasks you will need to undertake for your small business is applying for an employer identification number for tax purposes. 

Regardless of the type of business you run or the business structure you operate under, including a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, partnership, corporation, or nonprofit, all businesses within the United States must pay federal and state tax. With that said, how you operate your business will ultimately influence your tax filing each calendar year. 

So, to learn more about the application for employer identification number and SS-4 forms, keep reading.  

What is an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

An employer identification number is similar to a social security number but is unique to your business. It is a nine-digit number used by the internal revenue service (IRS) to identify your business on your income tax return when you file your taxes each year (1). 

Why do I need an EIN number?

Not every type of business, or entity, requires an employer identification number. So, how exactly can you determine whether you require this form of tax ID number for your business? Well, you can begin by asking yourself the following questions (2):

  1. Do you have employees that you rely on to perform your business activities?
  2. Is your business structure either a limited liability company, partnership, or corporation?
  3. Do you file excise tax returns?
  4. Do you file employment tax returns?
  5. Do you file tax returns for firearms, alcohol, or tobacco?
  6. Do you withhold tax from employees that are considered a non-resident alien?
  7. Do you have involvement in any trusts or estates?
  8. Are you considered a nonprofit organization?
  9. Are you a plan administrator for your LLC?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you will be required to submit an EIN application for federal tax purposes using an ss-4 form. On the other hand, if you are doing business as (DBA) a sole proprietor and are self-employed without any other employees working for your business, then you will not be required to apply for a separate employer ID number as your individual taxpayer identification number will be your SSN. 

SS4 form instructions: How to get your EIN

Now that you understand what an EIN is and have confirmed that you require a separate one for your business, you will be required to apply for a new ID number using an IRS form ss-4. Here is exactly how you will go about doing so: 

1. Gather your required documentation and official information 

Before applying for a new EIN, you will first need to gather specific information and documentation for your application. Here is a list of the information you need: 

  • The legal name for your business or legal trade name
  • What business structure you operate under (LLC, partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship
  • An explanation of why you are applying for a new EIN 
  • The date you acquired your new business or the date you began conducting your principal activity as a new business 
  • The contact information of your business including phone number, physical address
  • The state and country were principal business operations take place 
  • The name and contact information of the principal partner in the business 
  • The name and contact information of a third party designee who is the responsible party for accepting tax documents and other official information 
  • An estimate at the number of employees you will have in the next year 
  • The type of business you are running 
  • Whether payroll will be under or over $1000 USD 

2. File form ss-4 with the IRS 

Once you have collected all of the information listed above, you are now ready to file your tax form to the IRS. There are numerous methods to filing this form. Here is a detailed list on how you can do so: 


Likely the most convenient method to obtaining an EIN for your business is to submit an online application through the IRS website portal. 


Another way you can file your application is by sending it through the mail to the official IRS address which is: 

Internal Revenue Services

Attn: EIN Operation 

Cincinnati, OH 45999 

On the other hand, international applicants can send their form to the following street address: 

Internal Revenue Service 

Attn: EIN International Operation 

Cincinnati, OH 45999


Alternatively, you are also able to file your ss-4 form using fax. Here are the appropriate fax numbers to the IRS that you can use: 

Business within the US: 855-641-6935 

Business outside the US: 304-707-9471 

No place of business: 304-707-9471

Applicants should keep in mind that they will need to provide a returning fax number when applying using this method. Furthermore, you can expect to receive your EIN within four business days once you have applied for your EIN using this method. 

Are you considering launching a new business? If the answer is yes, you may need a business bank account to keep your accounting matters more organized throughout the year. At Nearside, we are happy to offer new small business owners with a business checking account so they can grow their business to new heights. 

Our checking account offers no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, or minimums. With quick sign up and approval processes, small business owners will be able to begin paying with their mobile app all across the globe in no time. And the best part of all is that business owners will receive 2.2% cashback when making payments using their debit card all throughout 2022. 

For more information about the Nearside bank account for small business owners, follow the link

Frequently asked questions 

Where can I find an SS4 form PDF?

If you are looking to apply for an Employer identification number by mailing in your application, you will need to fill out your form either online using a fillable PDF, or by printing the PDF to fill it out in person. You can access this PDF application form by following the link.

Who is the responsible party when applying for a trust EIN?

According to the official website of the internal revenue service, and according to the current IRS EIN application form (3): 

“For entities with shares or interests traded on a public exchange, or which are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, “responsible party” is (a) the principal officer, if the business is a corporation, (b) a general partner, if a partnership, (c) the owner of an entity that is disregarded as separate from its owner (disregarded entities owned by a corporation enter the corporation’s name and EIN), or (d) a grantor, owner, or trustor if a trust.”

“For all other entities, “responsible party” is the person who has a level of control over, or entitlement to, the funds or assets in the entity that, as a practical matter, enables the individual, directly or indirectly, to control, manage or direct the entity and the disposition of its funds and assets. The ability to fund the entity or the entitlement to the property of the entity alone, however, without any corresponding authority to control, manage, or direct the entity (such as in the case of a minor child beneficiary), does not cause the individual to be a responsible party.”

Where can I find the IRS EIN application online?

One of the most convenient methods to applying for an EIN is to utilize the IRS website. They offer a free, online portal that allows you to easily enter your information. The entire process should take less than 30 minutes. Here is the official page for an online EIN application

What is the phone number for the IRS?

There are many phone numbers that the IRS uses to speak with taxpayers throughout the year. However, if you are wishing to speak with an IRS agent as an individual, you can call 800-829-1040. On the other hand, as a business who wishes to speak with an IRS agent, you can call 800-829-4933. In addition, for nonprofit organizations, you can call 877-829-5500. 

Alternatively, individuals can also find specific IRS numbers related to their needs online by accessing the official IRS website for more information.  

Here is how you can reach the IRS as a taxpayer in the United States: 

Mailing address: will vary depending on the state you live in 

Phone number: 800-829-1040 (individuals) 800-829-4933 (businesses) 877-829-5500 (nonprofit organizations) 

Fax number: 855-215-1627 

Official IRS website 


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