Starting a business in Florida means that you have to comply with federal and state requirements to operate legally. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is one requisite you have to obtain as it is necessary for virtually all of your business transactions both with the federal and state government as well as to other businesses and establishments.
To help you get an EIN for your Florida business without having to pay anything, this guide will walk you through the entire process (online incorporation services such as LegalZoom, IncFile, and BizFilings charge a fee to get this).
As there are several options to obtain an EIN for free, this guide will present each method so you can choose the best one that’s most convenient.
The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number series in the format 00-0000000 and is a business’ counterpart to a social security number to an individual. Just as the social security number identifies an individual distinctively, the Employer Identification Number also functions similarly but for a legally registered business entity.
There are four different ways to get an EIN in Florida. Of these four, you only need to pick one that you prefer to use. Using all four is highly discouraged as it will give you four sets of EIN, which is not allowed by the federal government. Should you end up with more than one EIN, you need to immediately contact the IRS so they can advise you on what to do.
The first step to filing for an EIN through the online method is to go to this page of the IRS website. You only need to follow each of the three steps provided on the page. At the end of your online session, you will already have an EIN.
For your fax application of an EIN, a form SS-4 should be downloaded. This should then be completely filled out. Be sure to refer to the instructions provided before and after the actual form to know what to put in each entry. Verify that all information entered is correct, and fax this form to 859-669-5760. When faxing it, do not forget to include your own fax number so your EIN will be sent to that number after 4 business days.
For phone application of EIN, you can contact the hotline for the Business and Special Tax number: 800-829-4933. Although you will be talking to an agent, you can refer to form SS-4 for information that you need to have in handy during the entire conversation as these will be asked of you to process the EIN.
You can call the hotline anytime between Mondays and Fridays at 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. After your phone session ends, just like your online application, you will be immediately given your EIN.
For postal mail application of EIN number, you still have to download form SS-4 from the IRS website. Fill it out completely and mail it to the address below. Note that an EIN application through postal email has a waiting time of four weeks or exactly 1 month.
Internal Revenue Service
Attention EIN Operation
Please be advised that this guide’s intent is to share information. This should not be considered a legal document or a substitute for a law practitioner’s expert advice. Should any specific questions arise about tax requirements, legal proceedings, or the process of starting a business in Florida, always seek your lawyer’s advice.