How to Get an EIN Number in California

Among the many regulations to which you have to comply, taxation issues will also come about and you need to ensure you are safe by getting a business taxpayer number, which we will cover in this article. Get to know what it spells for your limited liability company, why you might need it and how you can get one.

What is an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in California?

This California EIN number is given to you by the authorities to help them identify your entity. However, it not only comes in handy for them but also helps you navigate the running of your operations. Not all businesses need one and you should thus be aware of what conditions might make you require one.

Do I Need a Tax ID Number for My Business?

Not necessarily. The need stems from the structure of the organization. Generally, you must get one if you:

  • Own your business with another person(s)
  • Plan to hire people to help with the day-to-day running of the business. The authorities require that all employers undergo the necessary registration processes to enable their employees to pay taxes.

If you meet any of the above conditions, you would have to get an EIN for free from the IRS. Even so, where you do not necessarily need one, having it has its benefits.

What is a Federal Tax Identification Number?

Federal Tax Identification Number this term is another name for EIN, and is used to identify a business entity.

When Your Business Needs an EIN

Having this EIN in California enables you to enjoy the following perks:

  • Opening a separate account for your business. Most financial providers will insist that you provide them with this number to open an account, failure to which, you may need a resolution for this.
  • You can hire people if you want. Suppose your business takes off fast, you will need people to help you carry out your duties. In this case, you would need to have the necessary paperwork to facilitate this.
  • You can separate your business finances from yours, which enables you to avoid a situation where you can get sued and lose what belongs to you. Having a veil protects you and also makes you look more credible to your associates.
  • You can stop using your personal details, thus making it harder for people to steal your identity.

How To Find the EIN for your Business

If you would like to go ahead and get a California state EIN number, the authorities enable you to find a California EIN at no charge. You can make an EIN number California application online, via mail, fax or by telephone. However, before you register for an EIN California, you should wait to get approval from the state as to the registration of your business. Without this, you would get a number that would not be tied to any business, thus forcing you to cancel it and start afresh.

How do I look up an EIN number?

It is not uncommon for people to forget or misplace their California EIN numbers. If you find yourself in this situation, here is what you can do:

  • Refer to your approval letter. The authorities send you a letter when everything checks out, outlining your number as well as other details that pertain to your business. If the application was on the official state website, you can access your account and derive information there. For physical means, you can look around for the letter. Given its importance, you likely stashed it away with other legal documents.
  • Look for documents bearing the number. If the letter is not accessible, you can think of other places you may have used the number. These include doing an EIN search California on past tax notices, your business permits, credit reports, account statements, loan applications, employee payrolls and alike.
  • If none of the above EIN lookup California methods work, you can resort to calling the IRS and provide the agents with details needed to track down the number.

The best option is to store the number in a safe place where you are unlikely to forget or misplace it.

How to Get a EIN in California

Now that you have seen the relevance of this ID, how can you apply for an EIN for your LLC? The IRS makes this process quite simple by providing you with an array of options as follows:


You can choose to directly access their website which is not only free and fast. To make the California state EIN steps seamless, the site has an assistant which is operational from 7am to 10pm from Monday through to Friday. Please note that only people living in the US or its territories can access this service. Additionally, you can only go for this option if you have valid taxpayer details. If this does not apply to you, please use the other options listed below. The same goes for anyone who has previously applied using the website in the past. Also, you can only make your application once a day and once you start filling in the form, you cannot save it and have to finish it or come back later. The good news is that once you get to the final stage, you will get your confirmation immediately.


Call the Business & Specialty Tax Line between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (local time), Monday through to Friday.

If you are a domestic applicant, you should call (800) 829-4933.
International applicants, on the other hand, must call (267) 941-1099.


You need to fill in form SS4 and send it to 859-669-5760. If everything checks out, you should get your confirmation within four business days using your fax details.


As is the case above, you need to manually fill in the form SS4 and send it to:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

This method takes the longest time to get a response. Once the letter is ready, the authorities will mail it back to you in about four to eight weeks.