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 Tennessee?
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 Tennessee
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 Tennessee Taxes
You also may need to register for business taxes in Tennessee.
If you have employees, you do not need to register to withhold personal income tax, as Tennessee does not have a personal income tax. You do, however, need to register for unemployment taxes. You’ll do so by downloading and mailing an application form.
Your local government may also require certain tax registrations.
Even if your LLC does not need to obtain an EIN in Tennessee, 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.
Does obtaining an EIN for my Tennessee LLC come with any fees?
No, you can secure an EIN from the IRS free of charge. You should apply directly through the IRS to avoid any unnecessary fees.
After applying, how soon can I expect to receive my EIN in Tennessee?
If you apply online, you typically receive the EIN immediately upon completion. Fax applications usually take around four business days, while mailed submissions might take up to 4-5 weeks.
I have a single-member LLC in Tennessee. Do I need to get an EIN?
While some single-member LLCs can operate using the owner’s SSN for specific tasks, it’s often recommended to get an EIN for added privacy and to fulfill certain business needs.
I'm not a U.S. resident and don't have an SSN. Can I still get an EIN for my Tennessee LLC?
Yes, non-resident individuals or entities can secure an EIN for their Tennessee LLC. You don’t need an SSN or ITIN and can generally apply via mail or fax.
Once I've obtained an EIN, are there Tennessee-specific responsibilities I should be aware of?
Yes, while the EIN is a federal designation, you might have additional state-related duties, such as registering for state taxes or obtaining specific business licenses in Tennessee.
Can I reuse the EIN from a previous Tennessee LLC for a new one I'm starting?
Generally, you should obtain a new EIN for a new LLC, even if the business is similar to a previous one.