If your LLC has more than one member or if you are going to hire employees, you’ll need an EIN. But these aren’t the only factors. The IRS offers a test to determine if you need an EIN:
Do you have employees?
Do you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership?
Do you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms?
Do you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
Do you have a Keogh plan?
Are you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
Real estate mortgage investment conduits
If you answer yes to these questions, your business needs an EIN.
Benefits of Having an EIN
There are several reasons to get an EIN, even if you’re not required to have one.
First, opening a business bank account is often required, and it adds a degree of separation between your business and personal finances. Bankers, creditors, and the IRS will identify your business by its EIN rather than your personal Social Security number.
Second, it helps establish business credit, boosting your access to financing. Third, if you end up hiring employees in the future, you’ll already have your EIN and be ready to go.
What Do I Need to Get an EIN in North Carolina?
According to the IRS:
All EIN applications (mail, fax, electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, or trustor. This individual or entity, which the IRS will call the ‘responsible party,’ controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity.
When you fill out the application, you’ll need the following:
Name, title, and Social Security number of managing member or owner
State in which your business is registered
Reason for applying
Main business activity
Closing month of your accounting year
Contact phone number and email
How to Apply for an EIN in North Carolina
The application is Form SS-4, and you can submit it via the IRS website. Alternatively, you can print the form and fax or mail it. If you apply online, your EIN will be issued immediately.
There is no cost to obtain an EIN, which never expires.
Register for North Carolina Taxes
You also may need to register for business taxes in North Carolina.
If you have employees, you’ll need to register to withhold state income taxes with the Department of Revenue. You can also register for sales tax on the same site if you sell taxable goods or services.
Your local government may also require certain tax registrations.
Even if your LLC does not need to obtain an EIN in North Carolina, getting one is probably the best move for your business, its finances, and its future. Just be sure to fill out the forms correctly and keep your business on the path to success.
What's the cost to obtain an EIN for my LLC in North Carolina?
There is no charge when applying for an EIN directly through the IRS. It’s a free service.
How long does the EIN application process typically take in North Carolina?
Online applications generally provide an EIN immediately upon successful submission. If applying via fax, you can expect a response in about four business days. Mailed applications may take 4-5 weeks to process.
Can I use my personal Social Security Number (SSN) in place of an EIN for my LLC's transactions in North Carolina?
Although sole proprietors sometimes use their SSN for business, it’s advisable for LLCs to obtain a separate EIN for added security and to simplify various business transactions.
Is there a need to renew or reapply for my EIN periodically in North Carolina?
No, once your LLC in North Carolina is assigned an EIN, it remains valid indefinitely unless there are significant changes to the business structure.
Can non-U.S. citizens apply for an EIN for their LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, foreign nationals can indeed secure an EIN for their North Carolina LLC. They can apply even if they don’t have an SSN or ITIN, typically via fax or mail.
Are there specific regulations or requirements in North Carolina related to EINs that I should be aware of?
While the EIN application is standardized at the federal level, it’s crucial to stay updated on any North Carolina-specific business regulations or tax requirements once you’ve obtained your EIN.