How to Get a Colorado EIN Number (for Free)
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We know dealing with the IRS can be intimidating, but getting an EIN for your LLC doesn’t have to be scary.

This page explains what an EIN is and we provide step-by-step instructions on getting an EIN for free for a Colorado LLC.

What is an EIN Number?

EIN Number for an LLC

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number and is assigned to your LLC by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a division within the federal government.

The EIN identifies your business to the IRS, the same way a Social Security Number identifies a person. You could also think of the EIN as your “account number” with the IRS.

Note: An EIN is not issued by the Colorado Secretary of State. It is only issued by the IRS.

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Have an LLC, but no EIN? Hire Northwest to get your EIN:
I have an SSN | I don't have an SSN

EIN Synonyms

You might see your EIN Number referred to in many different ways. They all mean the same thing, though.

Other terms for an EIN include:

  • EIN Number
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Federal Tax ID Numbers
  • Colorado Federal Tax ID Number
  • Federal Tax Identification Number

Note: An EIN Number is not the same thing as a Colorado Tax ID Number. An EIN is issued by the IRS. And a Colorado Tax ID Number is issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

What’s an EIN used for?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by several different government agencies to identify your LLC.

Having an EIN for your Colorado Limited Liability Company lets you:

  • Open an LLC business bank account
  • File federal, state, and local tax returns
  • File Colorado income tax
  • Obtain business lines of credit or business loans
  • Get a business credit card for your LLC
  • Apply for business licenses or permits
  • Handle employee payroll (if applicable)

How much does it cost to get an EIN?

Applying for an EIN for your Colorado LLC is completely free. The IRS doesn’t charge any service fees for the EIN online application.

When should you get an EIN?

Don’t apply for an EIN until your Colorado LLC is approved.

Tip: If you applied for an EIN before your LLC is approved, or made another mistake, please see our FAQs below. We explain how to fix the most common EIN mistakes.

How do I file an EIN Application for my Colorado LLC?

Important: Make sure you finalize how many LLC Members you have before you apply for an EIN. Changing from a Single-Member LLC to a Multi-Member LLC (or vice versa) requires filing paperwork with the IRS and the state. Additionally, you’ll need to transfer LLC ownership, amend your Operating Agreement, and update your accountant (since your tax filing will change).

Note: An LLC doesn’t stand for Limited Liability Corporation. It stands for Limited Liability Company.

Apply for an EIN (US Citizens and US Residents)

We recommend applying for an EIN online if you have a SSN (Social Security Number) or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

This is the easiest filing method and it has the fastest approval time. Your EIN Number will be issued at the end of the online application, which takes about 15 minutes to complete.

We have step-by-step instructions on this page:

How to apply for an EIN online

Note: You can also apply for an EIN by mail or fax, but this is really slow compared to the online filing. We only recommend this if you get an error message (called an EIN reference number) and the IRS says that you have to.

Apply for an EIN (Non-US residents)

If you’re a non-US resident (and don’t have an SSN or ITIN), you can still get an EIN for your Colorado LLC. You just can’t apply for a Federal tax EIN online.

Instead, you need to mail or fax Form SS-4 to the IRS. The SS-4 is the application form. We have step-by-step instructions on this page:

How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN

Note: If you’ve read somewhere that you have to hire a third party designee, this is not true. You can obtain your EIN yourself without using a third party designee.

EIN Approval (EIN Confirmation Letter)

Once the IRS issues an EIN for your Colorado LLC, you will receive your official approval, known as an EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575).

The method you use to apply for an EIN will determine how you receive your EIN Confirmation Letter. If you apply online, you can download the EIN Confirmation Letter at the end. If you mail or fax SS-4, the IRS mails your EIN Confirmation Letter.

Here is what the EIN Confirmation Letter looks like:

EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575) for LLC

LLC Business Bank Account

After getting an EIN, you can open a business bank account for your Colorado LLC. The bank will need your EIN Confirmation Letter (or EIN Verification Letter) to open the account.

Please see business bank account for LLC for a list of recommended banks (and the documents you should bring).

If you’re a non-US resident, you can still open a US bank account for your LLC. Please see this page: Non-US resident opening US bank account for an LLC

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Contact Information

If you have any questions, you can call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-829-4933. Their office hours are 7am – 7pm, Monday through Friday.

Use these options to speak to a live person:

  • Press option 1 for English.
  • Then press option 1 for Employer Identification Numbers.
  • Then press option 3 for “If you already have an EIN, but you can’t remember it, etc.”

Note: Pressing option 3 is the only way to get a live person.

We recommend calling the IRS right after they open to avoid long hold times.

The IRS won’t give you legal assistance, legal guidance, or tax advice, but they will answer questions about the EIN application process.

EIN Frequently Asked Questions

You may have seen other articles online say that Single-Member LLCs don’t need an EIN. While this is technically true, it’s bad advice.

Having an EIN can protect you from identity theft, and you’ll need an EIN for other purposes – not just filing taxes. Your Colorado LLC needs an EIN to:

  • Open an LLC business bank account
  • Obtain business lines of credit or business loans
  • Get a business credit card
  • Apply for business licenses or permits
  • Handle employee payroll (if applicable)

Plus, getting an EIN is free and takes just 10 minutes online. Said another way, we strongly recommend getting an EIN for your Single-Member LLC.

Yes, all Multi-Member LLCs are required to get an EIN from the IRS. This is because it’s required by the Internal Revenue Code.

No. A DBA can’t have an EIN. Remember, a DBA is just a nickname for a business or a person(s).

However, the business or person(s) that owns the DBA may need an EIN.

DBA owned by an LLC

If you have an LLC, your LLC needs its own EIN.

If your LLC has a DBA, don’t get an EIN for the DBA. The DBA is just a nickname for your LLC, and the IRS doesn’t recognize DBAs.

DBA owned by individual(s)

If you registered a DBA, but didn’t form a legal entity (like an LLC), then you’re operating a Sole Proprietorship (1 owner) or a General Partnership (2 or more owners).

Sole Proprietorship: Your Colorado Sole Proprietorship (with or without a DBA) isn’t required to have an EIN, but it’s optional.

General Partnership: Your Colorado General Partnership (with or without a DBA) must get an EIN. It’s required by the IRS.

Again, in both cases, the DBA itself doesn’t get the EIN. It’s the underlying business entity that gets the EIN.

Yes, you should still get an EIN for your Colorado business even if you don’t hire employees.

Even though it’s called an Employer Identification Number, it doesn’t mean you have to have employees. Again, the EIN Number is just a way for the IRS to identify your business.

(Note: If you are the only owner in your business, you are not considered an employee. You are simply the owner.)

In most states, husband and wife LLCs can only be treated as a Multi-Member LLC taxed as a Partnership.

However, in community property states, married couples can choose between:

  • Husband and wife LLC taxed as a Partnership
  • Husband and wife LLC taxed as a Single-Member LLC (aka Qualified Joint Venture)

Colorado is not a community property state. So Colorado husband and wife LLCs can’t choose to be taxed as a Qualified Joint Venture (Single-Member LLC).

How you complete your EIN application determines the LLC’s tax status. For more information, please see Husband and Wife LLC (Qualified Joint Venture).

Common EIN mistakes and how to fix them

If you lose your EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575), or forget to download it online, you can’t get another one.

However, you can request an EIN Verification Letter (147C), and you can use that instead.

Both forms are accepted by everyone (including banks and the state government).

No, just getting an EIN from the IRS doesn’t form an LLC. LLCs aren’t formed with the IRS. They are formed with your state.

You are supposed to form an LLC in your state, and then apply for an EIN (aka Federal Tax ID Number).

If you’ve been operating your business by having an EIN and have not formed an LLC, you have unknowingly been operating as a Sole Proprietorship and the EIN is “attached” to you, personally.

Said another way, the EIN is not connected to your company – because the company (the LLC) hasn’t been formed.

If you want to have your company be an LLC: First, form an LLC, wait for it to be approved, and then apply for a new EIN. Later you can cancel your first EIN.

If your LLC gets approved (using the name you listed on your EIN application), there is nothing to worry about. As long as the name on your EIN Confirmation Letter matches your LLC name, then you can use that EIN for your LLC.

If your LLC is rejected, then you need to refile with the state and wait for your new LLC name to be approved. Then get a new EIN from the IRS. And cancel the old EIN.

If you need to cancel your EIN Number, you need to mail a cancellation letter to the IRS.

We have instructions and the cancellation letter here: How to cancel an EIN.

Next Step: LLC Periodic Report

Once you received your EIN from the IRS, you can proceed to the next lesson: Colorado LLC Periodic Report.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

23 comments on “Colorado Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. Can you explain why a single member llc that is filing as a sole proprietorship would need/want an EIN?

    Reply
    • Hi Rachel, the most common reasons are to open an LLC checking account (details) and for privacy of your SSN (in some cases). As a single-member LLC taxed as a Sole Proprietorship you don’t have to obtain an EIN though, so you can skip it for now if you’d like… plus, you can always get one later if you decide you need it. Hope that helps.

      Reply
      • Thanks, Matt. This is helpful. One last question, would having or not having an EIN change how I do my taxes for my LLC?

        Reply
        • Hi Rachel, apologies for the slow reply. Nope, whether or not you have an EIN does not affect how your taxes will be filed as a single-member LLC taxed as a Sole Proprietorship. Hope that helps!

          Reply
  2. When I was registering for the EIN number I couldn’t Use “.” on my Legal name of LLC. for example “A.B.C. Management LLC.” I had to enter ABC Management LLC” would that affect my regeneration?

    Reply
    • Hi Elena, no, that will not affect your registration at all. The IRS strips out nearly all punctuation. You’re all good :)

      Reply
      • When I register for my EIN, I entered my start date in today’s date, would that be correct? 1/2/2018? I already submitted this application and now i’m wondering if that is the actual date i’m suppose to put on or will it be the date when the LLC is created? The LLC was created 12/28/2017.

        Reply
        • Hi Elena, it’s supposed to match up with the date the business actually started, which in your case sounds like 12/28/2017. However, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Having said that, I’m not 100% certain though. If you want to cross your t’s and dot your i’s, you can cancel the EIN, then create another one. Hope that helps.

          Reply
  3. hello i have one question about creating EIN. best option to what kind i work i do, i see on construction industrial and my company will be like install new tub, tile , paint interior and exterior any kind of Maintenance for the apartment community
    the option only are construction and repairs?

    Reply
    • Hi Alberto, the information provided to the IRS does not have to be highly specific. Although the options are broad and sometimes generic, you can just choose the one that is most closely related to your work. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  4. Do I need ein if I’m just providing service i.e., haircut, or applying eyelash extensions? I won’t be selling any tangible items, just providing a service?

    Reply
    • Hi Jl, did you form an LLC? If so, and your LLC is a Single-Member LLC, and you don’t have employees, and you don’t take payroll, and you don’t owe federal excise taxes, then you can operate a Single-Member LLC with just your SSN. Some banks may want to see an EIN though, even though you can technically operate a Single-Member LLC with an SSN. However, why don’t you want an EIN? It just takes 5 min. to get online. Just curious. Thanks.

      Reply
  5. Hi Matt, thanks so much for your help, I wish I had found this site at the beginning of my research. It would have saved me so much time. I obtained a personal EIN a couple years ago which I never used. I was planning to start a business then, but didn’t. Can I use that EIN for the LLC I just registered? If not, the IRS site says that I can only obtain one EIN online so I will have to go through fax to get it. Is this correct? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Christie, you’re welcome. Thanks for the kind words! while you can use that prior EIN for the LLC by writing to the IRS, we recommend getting a new EIN for the newly formed LLC. It guarantees things are cleaner and that there’s no confusion. It’s actually one EIN per day online, not ever. So you just need wait 24 hours ;) Hope that helps!

      Reply
  6. If I change the name of my LLC do I have to notify the IRS about the name change so I can continue using the same EIN number or do I get a new EIN number?

    Reply
    • Hi Lauro, yes, you’ll need to send a letter to the IRS about the name change. The EIN will stay the same. You’ll also need to update the Colorado Department of Revenue, your bank, and any other place that has the old LLC name. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  7. Thank you so much for putting this class together. It is so easy to understand and follow. This is a big gift to small businesses. Again, thank you. My question is this, I have an EIN for another business that is still currently active. I started it 10 years ago in Oregon and have since moved to Colorado. Do I need to update my address with the IRS in respect to the EIN?

    Thank you so much for your time,
    Hope you are enjoying your day
    –Pamela

    Reply
    • Hi Pamela, you’re very welcome! Thank you for the kind words :) It not so much updating the EIN, but rather the company record with the IRS. You’ll want to submit Form 8822-B to update your address for your other business. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  8. Thank you very much Matt, your videos have been very helpful! I have filed my articles of organization with Colorado and I delayed my effective date to 01/01/19 per your advice as it is the end of October. I was wondering if i have to wait until 01/01/19 to file for and EIN number or can I go a head and start on that? Also I’m looking to go ahead and set up a business checking account/ credit card after getting my EIN number. I’m basically trying to get everything set up and in place by the 1st of January. Can I start moving forward on these actions?

    Thanks again,

    Stephen.

    Reply
    • Hey Stephen, you’re very welcome! In the online EIN Application with the IRS, you can enter the start date of the business as 1/2019, so yes, you can proceed with that. Just call the bank you’re thinking of going with and and ask to speak to the branch manager. If you have your approved Articles of Organization and EIN Confirmation Letter, it’s likely they’ll let you open the bank account. We have some LLC banking tips here: opening an LLC bank account. Hope that helps!

      Reply

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