5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Filing Your EIN Application Online

When completing the EIN number application online through our website, remember to avoid making the 5 most common mistakes:

1. Ensure that you have all the information and documents required before completing the online EIN number application.

To prevent any delay in processing your employer identification number application, be sure to submit all the required information and documentation needed to process your employer ID number application. Generally, it would be best to have the following information on hand when completing the IRS EIN application: the legal name of the business or entity, your Social Security Number ("SSN") or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ("ITIN"), the business or entity's start or acquisition date, the closing month of the accounting year, etc. U.S. non-residents with an ITIN must also ensure that they upload have a copy of the IRS issued ITIN notice with their EIN application in a .pdf or .jpg format.

2. Complete all three (3) steps of the online EIN application process.

To complete the entire EIN application process online, you must (1) complete the online EIN application form, (2) sign your EIN application online, and (3) pay the EIN application fee. Many applicants submit the EIN application form and neglect to sign the employer ID number application online and/or pay the EIN application fee. If you don't complete all 3 steps, it will delay the time to obtain an EIN number.

3. Avoid using symbols as part of your business or entity's legal name in the IRS EIN application.

To apply for an EIN number, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only accepts legal names with the following characters:

  • Alpha (letters A - Z);
  • Numeric (numbers 0 - 9);
  • Hyphen (-); and
  • Ampersand (&).

If the legal name of the business or entity includes any characters other than the characters listed above, e.g., a period (.) or an apostrophe ('), then the IRS will not accept the information. You must decide on the best way to enter in the business or entity's legal name into the online EIN application.

Some suggestions on how to enter in the business or entity's legal name into the IRS EIN application:

  • If the legal name contains a symbol or character, then spell out the symbol or drop the symbol and leave a space;
  • If the legal name contains a backward (\) or forward (/) slash, then substitute the slash with a hypen (-); and/or
  • If the legal name contains an apostrophe ('), delete the apostrophe and do not leave a space.

For instance, you cannot enter in the legal business name: 1-800-Art-Book.Com as the IRS does not accept a period (.) as a valid character for a legal business name. The IRS would require you to enter the legal business name as 1-800-Art Book Dot Com or 1-800-Art Book Com into the IRS EIN application.

4. Enter information for the responsible party of the business or entity and do not use a nominee to apply for an EIN.

You must be the responsible party of the legal entity to apply for an EIN. You are considered the responsible party of the business or entity if you are the:

  • Executor;
  • General Partner:
  • Grantor;
  • Managing Member;
  • Owner;
  • Principal Officer; or
  • Trustor.

If there is more than one (1) responsible party, such as two (2) managing members of a LLC, then select one (1) person to be the responsible party of the legal entity when applying for an EIN number.

A nominee is anyone who has limited power over the business or entity for a restricted period of time.

5. Ensure that the mailing and physical street address lines only have 35 characters each when applying for the employer identification number application.

The IRS only accepts mailing and physical street addresses with 35 characters or less in the online employer ID number application. If the business or entity's mailing and/or physical address has more than 35 characters, provide the most essential street address information (such as an apartment or suite number, etc.). The address information that you provide will be validated against the United States Postal Service’s database.

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