Running a business is highly complex, not in the least because of taxes. All small businesses, with the exception of some (this is one of the reasons why this is so complex), need employer identification numbers. The IRS and the general public also needs to be able to find employer identification numbers (EIN). This number is the identity of the business for tax matters. The EIN can also be referred to as the Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), just to confuse the matter slightly. The one thing that is easy about EIN, however, is how to apply for one. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made many different methods available, including online. In fact, the online services are completely free, meaning you can find employer identification numbers with ease, or apply for them straight away. Before you use this, however, you have to speak to your state in order to find out if you need a state charter or number as well.

How to Apply:

The IRS has made an EIN application available online that is in an interview style. This means that you don't have to file Form SS-4 anymore either. Rather, the IRS will ask you a number of questions that you have to answer, and the system will basically sort it out by itself. The application form includes hyperlinked keywords and various help topics. This means that you don't have to have any separate forms to hand in either. So long as you complete the form properly, the IRS will be able to validate it straight away, and you will be given your EIN immediately as well. You will also receive a confirmation notice that you can download, print, and safe. The entire system is easy to use, fast, and free, which is commendable.

What About If You're Tax Exempt?

Before you find employer identification numbers, you have to find out whether you actually need them. This means that you should first legally form your organization. If you don't file a required return for three years in a row, or if you don't file a notice, your tax exempt status will generally be automatically revoked. If you apply for an EIN, the IRS presumes that you legally formed your business, which means the clock starts running as well.

What About a Change of Ownership?

Usually, if you change the ownership or structure of an organization, you will also need a new EIN. The IRS has placed a 'Do You Need a New EIN' section on their website so you can check whether or not this is the case with you. Again, it is a very easy system to follow.

Verifying EIN Numbers:

There is a 'Lost of Misplaced Your EIN' page available if you want to verify your number. The number does have a daily limitation, however. This was started on May 21, 2012, making sure that all taxpayers were treated fairly and equitably. This is why an EIN number is only issued to one responsible party, one per day.