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Have you recently registered a company in California? Are you thinking of forming a new company in California? If so, you will most likely need to apply for, and obtain an EIN number. EIN stands for “Employer Identification Number”. It is also known as FEIN – the Federal Employer Identification Number.
Banks, vendors, contractors, and others that you do business with may ask you for your Federal Tax Identification Number, this is the nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service.
It doesn’t matter if you are forming a new California Corporation or registering a California Limited Liability Company (LLC) – the next step after this is to obtain your California EIN number.
To obtain your EIN number in California you have to know how to complete an SS4 form and submit it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you are comfortable filling out forms, specifically government ones, then you may be able to successfully complete and submit form SS4 yourself to obtain your EIN number California.
Here is the IRS SS4 application form that you can download for free.
There is a link to the online process further down the page. If you want to go straight to the online process, you can click HERE.
However, most people that don’t like filling in forms (and let’s face it, who does), or simply do not know what needs to be entered on an SS4 form prefer to use the services of a company that specializes in obtaining your EIN number for your California company. This makes life so much easier, it ensures your form is not rejected by the IRS and means that there is one less thing to worry about when forming your new company and getting your California EIN.
Learn How to Get an EIN Number in California
The process through which you obtain your California EIN can seem a daunting task at first, but if you know what you are doing and follow these instructions, or if you decide to hire a specialist company to apply for your California EIN, the task of receiving your EIN number in California becomes a much more seamless and simplified process.
Navigating US government forms and making sure you complete them correctly is not easy, and if it is not something you are comfortable with or have not done before, we strongly recommend using the services of a professional document filing service, and someone that is a registered agent for the IRS to help you.
If you are a foreign national and do not have a U.S. social security number or legal residence in the U.S., the process is much more challenging if you try to do it on your own. However, as a foreign national, you can still obtain a California EIN for your business without a social security number or a TIN (tax identification number).
Once you have been issued your California EIN, the IRS will send you a notification that you will receive in the mail. This is your official California EIN confirmation.
After receiving your EIN number for your California company, you are now in a position to open up a business bank account. To open a corporate bank account, you will need to take your California certificate of incorporation or LLC registration along with your new California EIN notification that you received from the IRS.
The bank of your choosing will need to make a copy of both original forms, and you should also take your photo ID and anything else they ask you to bring. If you do not have a U.S. driver’s license, a passport will usually suffice.
How to Get Your California EIN
The other challenge most people run into is that the process you have to go through (when applying yourself) to get your California EIN has to be done online and you have to apply for your EIN in one session. What does this mean? Well, if you go to the EIN Online IRS Page, you will have to fill everything out in 15 minutes or less otherwise your session will end and you’ll have to start the process all over again.
If you are a foreign national and do not have a U.S. social security number and are not a legal resident of the U.S., then you cannot apply online, you must print the SS4 form and fill it out first.
If this all sounds quite difficult and stressful for you, then you should seriously consider having a professional document filing company take care of your California EIN for you for an affordable (fixed) fee.
Ultimately, it will save you time and money, and also a lot of anguish. Additionally, these companies are usually enrolled agents with the IRS who have earned the privilege of representing you before the Internal Revenue Service through either passing a three-part comprehensive test or through experience as a former IRS employee.
I am a Foreign National – How do I Get an EIN Number in California?
This is a question that gets asked often and there is a lot of misinformation out there. Many foreign nationals are advised that if they do not have a U.S. social security number, that they cannot apply for a California EIN.
This is not true, but what is true, is that you cannot apply for a California EIN in the same way that a U.S. citizen can or someone with a U.S. social security number can. The process is different. If you are a foreign national, please do not try to go through the online process on the IRS website – it will not work.
If you are going to try and apply for a California EIN yourself, which as we’ve previously mentioned, has its own challenges, then you must download the SS4 application form (a link for this is further up the page), and fill the form out first. Once completed, you must either call the IRS and apply by telephone, reading off the information you have filled in on the SS4 form, or you can fax or mail the form to the IRS. IRS Fax numbers and addresses are at the bottom of this page.
Neither of these scenarios is ideal because getting hold of the IRS on the phone is not always the easiest thing to do (if you are overseas you also have time zone issues to deal with), faxing can be a challenge because fax machines are rarely used nowadays, and sending forms in the mail can take a long time and you run the risk of your SS4 application being “lost in the mail.” In addition to this, you will find yourself having to chase up the IRS to find out the status of your application, and it can be a tedious and frustrating process.
The easiest, quickest, and simplest way for a foreign national to apply for an EIN Number in California is to use the services of a professional document filing company, that for an affordable (one-time) fee they will take care of everything for you.
These companies are doing this all the time and specialize in helping foreign nationals and will fax your SS4 form and application directly to the IRS, handle all the communication back and forth with them, chase them if there are any delays or issues, and mail you the original forms once they are received from the IRS. Whether you are in the U.S. or overseas, the document filing company will ensure you receive your original documents in a timely manner
The service is a complete “no-hassle” process and you will have your California EIN in no time (usually within a few weeks). You can then open your business bank account and get your business up and running.
SS-4 Fax Number
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident that resides in the U.S. and your principal business, office or agency is in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, then you should mail or fax form SS-4 to the following:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
If you have no legal residence, principal place of business, or principal office or agency in any US state, essentially, if you are a foreign national, then you should mail or fax form SS-4 to the following:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN International Operation
Cincinnati, Ohio 45999
Fax: (855) 215-1627 (within the US)
Fax: (304) 707-9471 (outside the US)
Doing Business in California
There has never been a better time to do business in California, the Golden State is home to over 4 million small businesses, proving the sustainability of starting a business within California, whether that be small or large.
Small businesses account for 99.8% of all businesses within California and employ a whopping 48.8% of the state’s workforce, making small businesses an essential part of the Golden State’s booming economy. California’s economy is so big that it is, in fact, the 5th largest in the whole world!
Doing business in California is an extremely attractive proposition for many entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners, here are the top 5 fastest growing industries in California:
- Technology and Information