Many non-US aspiring entrepreneurs wonder if they need an EIN to operate an LLC from abroad and if it is required at all.
First things first, you are required to have an EIN to operate your business. It is a bit of a hassle to obtain it, but you can’t do it without one.
What is EIN?
The EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. It is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and serves to identify your business.
The EIN identifies your business in the same way your government-issued number identifies you as a person.
Why Do You Need an EIN for Your LLC?
You will use your EIN for the following:
- Open a business bank account for the LLC
- Open business account with payment processors such as Stripe and Paypal
- File taxes with the IRS or the state
- Apply for licenses or permits, if needed
- Apply for credit lines and loans, if eligible
- Handle employee payroll, if you have any employees
Whenever government agencies, financial institutions, or someone else wants to identify your business, they will use this number unique to your business.
You can have incorporated an LLC, but it is not operational until you get the EIN.
How to Obtain an EIN as a Non-US Resident?
There are two ways to obtain an EIN:
- By yourself, or
- By using EIN filing services.
Filing for EIN By Yourself
You can file for EIN by yourself. You need to do the following:
- Fill out an SS-4 form
- Send it by post mail or by fax to the IRS
- Wait 2-5 weeks for approval
If you send it by mail, send it to the following address:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, Ohio 45999
If you send it by fax, send it to 304-707-9471.
And then you wait for 2-5 weeks.
If you have an SSN or ITIN number, you can get it the same day over the phone. But, SSN or ITIN is not necessary to obtain the EIN. They can just make the process go faster.
You can call the IRS on the phone and ask them for the number in a few weeks if you receive no response. There is a waiting line that often takes up to 2 hours. Eventually, you’ll get the number. But, you have to wait in line.
If you file for EIN by yourself, you’re getting it for free. There is no filing fee for the EIN.
Filing for Your EIN by Using Services
It is not necessary to use other people’s services for getting an EIN, but it is recommendable if you want to avoid filling out the SS-4 wrongfully or waiting in line for hours on the phone to get the EIN.
In such a case, all you’ll need to do is sign the pre-filled SS-4 and wait for the EIN. That’s how it looks like when you get an EIN with the Neubase Managed subscription fee. The obtaining of the EIN is included in the subscription fee.