Buying a Business: Getting an EIN Number After You Set Up A New Business Entity

For business buyers who are purchasing a business, after they set up their Florida business entity on Sunbiz.org and have their approval from the Florida Department of Corporations, the next step is to set up an EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). The FL Department of Corporations will send you a link to apply for your EIN in the email confirmation that they send when your new entity is approved. 

What Is An EIN?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. You may apply for an EIN in various ways, and now you can apply online. Applying for an EIN is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service. Beware of websites on the Internet that charge for this free service.

Why Do You Need An EIN?

An employer identification number (EIN), or business tax ID, is a unique nine-digit number that you use when filing taxes for your business. An EIN also helps you register a business entity, obtain a business loan, open a business bank account, and much more. An EIN is as important for your company as a social security number (SSN) is in your personal life.  

How To Apply For An EIN

All EIN applications (mail, fax, electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor. This individual or entity, which the IRS will call the “responsible party,” controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity. We gathered the following info from the IRS website

Apply Online

The Internet EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN. Once the application is completed, the information is validated during the online session, and an EIN is issued immediately. The online application process is available for all entities whose principal business, office or agency, or legal residence (in the case of an individual), is located in the United States or U.S. Territories. Please note, that if you don’t have a SSN (mainly our E2 or L1 Visa buyers), you cannot apply online unless you designate a third party to apply on your behalf via the SS-4 Form. 

Apply by Fax

Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information. If it is determined that the entity needs a new EIN, one will be assigned using the appropriate procedures for the entity type. If the taxpayer's fax number is provided, a fax will be sent back with the EIN within four (4) business days.

Apply by Mail

The processing timeframe for an EIN application received by mail is four weeks. Ensure that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information. If it is determined that the entity needs a new EIN, one will be assigned using the appropriate procedures for the entity type and mailed to the taxpayer.

Apply by Telephone – International Applicants

International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN. The person making the call must be authorized to receive the EIN and answer questions concerning the Form SS-4. Complete the Third Party Designee section only if you want to authorize the named individual to receive the entity’s EIN and answer questions about the completion of Form SS-4. The designee’s authority terminates at the time the EIN is assigned and released to the designee. You must complete the signature area for the authorization to be valid.