How Do I Get a Tax ID Number in Alabama

If you are planning to start a business or hire employees in Alabama, it is important to obtain a Tax ID number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This unique number is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get a Tax ID number in Alabama.

1. Determine if you need an EIN: You will need an EIN if you are starting a business, hiring employees, opening a bank account for your business, or filing certain tax returns such as employment, excise, or alcohol, tobacco, and firearms returns.

2. Apply online: The simplest and quickest way to obtain an EIN is by applying online through the IRS website. The online application is available from Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST. Once you complete the application, you will receive your EIN immediately.

3. Apply by mail or fax: If you prefer not to apply online, you can complete and mail or fax Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to the appropriate IRS office. The processing time for a mail or fax application is approximately four weeks.

4. Determine your responsible party: When applying for an EIN, you will need to identify a responsible party. This individual must be a person with authority to control and manage the entity, such as the owner, partner, or officer.

5. Gather required information: Before starting the application process, make sure you have all the necessary information readily available. This includes your business name, address, type of entity, and the responsible party’s social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

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6. Keep your EIN on record: Once you receive your EIN, it is important to keep it on record for future reference. You will need it for various business-related activities, such as filing tax returns, opening a bank account, or hiring employees.


1. Who needs to apply for an EIN in Alabama?
Anyone starting a business, hiring employees, or filing certain tax returns in Alabama needs to apply for an EIN.

2. Is there a fee to obtain an EIN?
No, there is no fee to obtain an EIN. The process is free of charge.

3. Can I use my social security number instead of an EIN for my business?
While it is possible to use your social security number for certain business structures, it is generally recommended to obtain an EIN for your business to protect your personal information and separate your business finances from personal finances.

4. Can I apply for an EIN online if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, non-U.S. citizens can apply for an EIN online as long as they have a valid taxpayer identification number.

5. Can I apply for an EIN before registering my business in Alabama?
Yes, you can apply for an EIN before registering your business. However, you will need to provide the legal business name when applying.

6. How long does it take to receive an EIN if I apply online?
If you apply online, you will receive your EIN immediately upon completing the online application.

7. Can I change my responsible party after receiving an EIN?
Yes, you can change your responsible party by notifying the IRS in writing.

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8. Is an EIN the same as a sales tax number?
No, an EIN is different from a sales tax number. An EIN is used for federal tax purposes, while a sales tax number is obtained from the Alabama Department of Revenue for the collection of state sales tax.

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