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How To Get A Free Iowa EIN

How To Get A Free Iowa EIN

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How To Get A Free Iowa EIN

Not every small business will need one, but a common registration for many businesses in Iowa is the Employer Identification Number, otherwise known as an EIN.  This number is used as a business’s identification for tax purposes and is required for various business activities, such as opening a bank account, hiring employees, and filing tax returns.

Unfortunately, many services online try to charge people for an Iowa EIN, but if you register directly with the Internal Revenue Service, there is no cost to get one. So, to help you keep your money, we’ll review what the EIN is for, who needs one, and how to get an EIN at no cost.

Also See: Guide to starting a business in Iowa

What is the Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

EIN is short for Employer Identification Number and is sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number, FEIN, Federal Tax Identification Number, or Federal Tax ID Number. The EIN is a unique nine-digit number that is similar to a social security number for an individual but instead identifies a business.

Who needs an Iowa EIN?

The EIN is needed for Iowa businesses that are either:

The EIN is optional for sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees. Those business entities will use the owner’s social security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). While it’s not required, using an EIN in place of the owner’s SSN can help protect the owner from identity theft.

Some other uses of the EIN include:

  • Opening a bank account: Before opening a business bank account, banks will ask for an EIN.
  • Applying for business licenses & permits: Many Iowa business licenses will require the EIN (or SSN in some cases) before filing an application.
  • Filing tax returns: The EIN is used to identify the business when filing state and federal tax returns.

Related: How to register for an EIN without an SSN

How to apply for an EIN

The easiest and fastest way to apply for an EIN is to visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

The online application process only takes about 5 minutes to file the EIN online, and the number will be ready in seconds. If applying online isn’t an option, you can also complete an EIN application by mail or fax by sending Form SS-4 to the IRS fax number 855-641-6935.

You can even get an EIN over the phone if the company was formed outside the U.S. by calling 267-941-1099. Note that this isn’t a toll-free number if filing by phone.

There is no cost for an EIN when you apply directly through the Internal Revenue Service.

What information do I need to get an Employer Identification Number?

Applying for an EIN in Iowa is pretty straightforward, but you will need to obtain some information beforehand, such as:

  • Legal name of the business
  • Business address
  • Name(s) of the principal officer, manager, or owner
  • Name(s) and contact information of the owners, directors, officers, or members
  • Type of business and what activities the business performs
  • Date the business was started or acquired
  • Closing month of the entity’s accounting year
  • Number of employees expected to be hired
  • Contact information

Within seconds, the IRS will provide the EIN that can be used immediately. A few weeks later, the IRS will send the official paperwork, known as an EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575).

Is an EIN the same as an Iowa sales tax number?

No, these registrations are commonly confused, and many businesses will actually need both. Businesses selling a product or offering certain services in the state need an Iowa business tax permit from the Iowa Department of Revenue.

Author

  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

How To Get A Free Iowa EIN

How To Get A Free Iowa EIN

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