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Are You Required to Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

The Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is often used by state agencies as a means of cross-referencing businesses.

Application

You will want to apply for your federal EIN number immediately after receiving your Certificate of Incorporation from the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Get your federal EIN number before registering with other state agencies that may be applicable to your business. Other state agencies such as the Sales Tax Department and the Virginia Employment Commission request your EIN number. In addition, remember that when opening your bank accounts the bank also will require it.
The State of Virginia strongly encourages all business entities to acquire and use a federal EIN. You are required by law to obtain a federal EIN if you meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • You are a sole proprietor with at least one employee or a Keogh Plan.
  • Your business is a general partnership or a limited partnership.
  • Your business is a corporation.
  • Your business is a limited liability company.
  • You are a new owner of an existing business which is required to use a federal EIN. (The federal EIN of a former owner cannot be used.)
  • You change your form of business from a sole proprietor to a partnership or a corporation. The partnership or corporation must obtain its own federal EIN.

You can apply for an employer identification number online at the Internal Revenue Service’s website.

The online service immediately issues a new EIN and will generate a written notification which must be printed before you leave the website. You can review Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, prior to going on the IRS website.

Business can enjoy the benefits of e-file and e-pay, whether they rely on a tax preparer or handle their own taxes. The most common business forms are all available for e-file including:

Businesses also can enroll in the free Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS.) Once a taxpayer is enrolled, all federal tax payments can be made online, over the phone or through payroll processors. For more information or to enroll, call EFTPS customer service at 1-800-555-4477 or 1-800-945-8400 or visit www.eftps.gov.

Businesses that request a new EIN and have a tax balance due will be automatically enrolled in EFTPS to begin making their tax payments quicker, rather than waiting for coupons to arrive in the mail.

For more IRS business information, contact the toll-free Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933.