It happens to so many people and some don't realize it until it's too late. They go to a website that looks like it's correct, but...
It's the EIN, the Employer Identification Number and it's FREE.
The EIN is a number that the IRS provides your business that is based on the responsible party's social security number. Effectively, the IRS gives your business it's own social security numnber of sorts.
It doesn't matter what entity style you've chosen, sole proprietorship, single member LLC, etc., the EIN is free and is a needed part of doing business. It's not required for sole proprietorships, but it is still a good idea to have.
The EIN is used to show suppliers that you are a legitimately registered business so you can obtain wholesale opportunities that you wouldn't have otherwise. The EIN is also used to open a business bank account. While the EIN is an "Employer" Identification Number, you do not have to have (or ever have) employees. If you do have employees, you do need this number.
Ok, so what's this about it being free? I'm looking at a charge of $200+!!
There are companies out there that will register on your behalf. They are legitimate companies and you will get an actual EIN, but, they are coming to the same website, as you would, and entering in all of the information you gave them, as you would and then just relaying the number the IRS provided on the submission screen.
You can easily do this in 5 minutes on your own, and yes, it is easy.
When looking at the website you are at, make sure you look very carefully. These companies are sneaky and they will do things like IRSGOV.com or IRS.gov.com or IRS.EIN.com or some other variant of the sort.
You *do* want a .gov, but it needs to be www.IRS.gov/. Anything after the backslash (/) is what the specific page is, so, for the EIN (it's long):
Also, always look for that 's' at the end of https://. That 's' means you are on a secure site with certificates to show that it's secure. Actually, this tip goes for any website where you'll be entering personal/private information. If the website does not have the 's', it may be open for shennanigans that can put that information in danger.
Check out these products to help your journey.
- The Basics of Starting a Business digital book
- The Makers Community
- The Makers' Right-Hand Business Binder
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