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.
It’s often required to open a business bank account. However, it creates a separation between your business and personal finances because bankers, creditors, and the IRS will identify your business by its EIN rather than your personal Social Security number.
Also, it helps establish business credit, which will boost your access to financing. And, if you do 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 South 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 South 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 South Carolina Taxes
You also may need to register for business taxes in South Carolina.
If you have employees, you’ll need to register to withhold personal income taxes with the Department of Revenue. In addition, you can register for sales tax on the same site if you sell taxable goods or services.
Your local government may also require tax registrations.
What is the cost associated with obtaining an EIN for my South Carolina LLC?
There’s no fee when applying directly with the IRS for an EIN. It’s a free service offered by the federal government.
After I've applied, how long will it take to receive my EIN in South Carolina?
Online applications usually yield an immediate EIN upon successful submission. Fax applications can take up to four business days, while mailed submissions might require 4-5 weeks.
Is it possible to use my personal Social Security Number (SSN) instead of obtaining an EIN for my South Carolina LLC?
While sole proprietors might use their SSN for certain business activities, it’s generally advisable for LLCs to have a separate EIN for reasons related to privacy, liability, and certain business functions.
Is there a need to renew my EIN periodically in South Carolina?
No, once issued, your EIN remains valid for the duration of your LLC’s existence. However, significant structural or ownership changes might necessitate a new EIN.
Can a non-U.S. citizen acquire an EIN for their LLC in South Carolina?
Yes, non-U.S. residents can obtain an EIN for their South Carolina LLC. If they lack an SSN or ITIN, the process might require submitting the application via fax or mail.
Are there specific EIN guidelines or requirements unique to South Carolina?
While the EIN application process is consistent across states, once you have your EIN, you should be mindful of any state-specific regulations, licenses, or business obligations in South Carolina.