An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a federal tax identification number similar to a social security number. Generally, all businesses must have an EIN in order to file taxes with the IRS. If you are a sole proprietor, meaning you are running the show without any employees, you can use your social security number. But should you? One thing to consider is if you feel comfortable giving out your social security number. For example, anytime I do work for more than $600, I get a request from the client for my EIN so they can issue me a 1099 form for my taxes. For this reason, I have an EIN, even though I didn’t in the beginning.
Getting your EIN is really easy. You can apply online, or over the phone here.