Iowa Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

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How to Get an EIN for an Iowa LLC

Quick Start Guide
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Iowa.

Detailed Lessons:

 

Iowa LLC Costs:
Iowa state fee: $50
Biennial Report fee: $45 online or $60 by mail (paid every 2 years)

Need to save time?
Hire a professional to form your LLC in Iowa:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

What is an EIN Number?

An EIN Number stands for Employer Identification Number and it will be issued by the IRS to your Iowa LLC.

An EIN is to your Iowa LLC what a Social Security Number is to a person. It helps the IRS identify your business for tax and filing purposes.

Having an EIN for your Iowa LLC allows you to open a separate bank account under the LLC’s name, apply for certain licenses and permits, and handle employee payroll (if applicable).

Even though it’s called an Employer Identification Number, it doesn’t mean that you have to have employees. The EIN is just a type of Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) that identifies your Iowa LLC with the IRS.

EIN Synonyms

Your Iowa LLC’s EIN may be called different names. They all mean the same thing though.

Similar terms for an EIN include:

  • EIN Number
  • Employer ID Number
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Federal Employer ID Number
  • Federal Employer Identification Number
  • FEIN
  • Federal Tax Number
  • Federal Tax ID Number
  • Federal Tax Identification Number

Benefits of having an EIN for your Iowa LLC

Having an EIN for your Iowa LLC enables you to do the following:

  • Open an LLC business bank account
  • File taxes at the federal, state, and local level
  • Handle employee payroll (if applicable)
  • Obtain business lines of credit or business loans
  • Get a business credit card for your LLC
  • Apply for business licenses

Wait for your Iowa LLC to be approved

Wait for your Iowa LLC to be approved by the Secretary of State before applying for your EIN. Otherwise, if your LLC filing is rejected, you’ll have an EIN attached to a non-existent LLC.

However, if this does happen, you can always cancel your EIN and then apply for a new one. And you don’t have to wait for your cancellation to go through before applying for a new EIN.

Applying for an EIN for your LLC is free ($0)

Applying for an EIN for your Iowa LLC is completely free.

The IRS doesn’t charge anything for applying for an EIN.

Don’t have an SSN or ITIN?

If you’re a foreigner who formed an Iowa LLC, you can still get an EIN without having an SSN or ITIN.

You just can’t get your EIN online. Instead, you need to mail or fax Form SS-4 to the IRS.

We have instructions here: How to apply for EIN without an SSN or ITIN.

(related article: How to apply for an ITIN)

EIN Phone Application

You may have read that you can apply for an EIN by phone. This is no longer the case. The IRS has discontinued this service.

The only businesses that can get an EIN by phone are Exempt Organizations (like non-profits) and Foreign Companies (companies formed outside of the United States).

If you’re a foreigner and you formed an LLC in Iowa, we have instructions below on how to apply for your EIN.

EIN Responsible Party

The EIN Responsible Party is a person that goes on file with the IRS when you apply for an EIN for your Iowa LLC.

Think of the Responsible Party as the LLC’s “contact person”. The IRS will send your LLC’s mail and correspondence to this person.

If you have a Single-Member Iowa LLC:

Then you will be the EIN Responsible Party.

If you have a Multi-Member Iowa LLC:

One of the LLC Members will be the EIN Responsible Party.

The IRS just wants one person as the EIN Responsible Party. They don’t want all the Iowa LLC Members’ information. The IRS gets the other Members’ information when you file your 1065 Partnership return and issue K-1s each year.

Although any LLC Member can be listed, you should list the LLC Member that will take on the responsibility of making sure the LLC’s taxes are handled properly.

If your Iowa LLC is owned by another company:

The IRS made changes in 2018 that no longer allow an EIN Responsible Party to be a company. The EIN Responsible Party must be an individual person. So it’s best to list one of the individual owners of the parent company.

Note: If you have an Iowa LLC that is owned by another company and you try to get an EIN online, you’ll just get an error message (EIN reference number) at the end of the application.

Learn more:

To learn more about who can be the EIN Responsible Party for your Iowa LLC, please see EIN Responsible Party for LLC.

How is an Iowa LLC taxed?

By default, an Iowa LLC is taxed based on the number of Members (owners).

Meaning, an LLC is just taxed in the default status set by the IRS and the LLC doesn’t elect to be taxed as a Corporation (either a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation).

(related article: how are LLCs taxed)

The default tax status for an Iowa Single-Member LLC is a Disregarded Entity, meaning if the LLC is owned by an individual, the LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship. If the LLC is owned by a company, it is taxed as a branch/division of the parent company.

The default tax status for an Iowa Multi-Member LLC is Partnership, meaning the IRS taxes the LLC like a Partnership.

If instead, you want your Iowa LLC taxed as a C-Corp, you’ll first apply for an EIN and then later file Form 8832. If you want your LLC taxed as an S-Corp, you’ll first apply for an EIN and then later file Form 2553.

If you choose to have your Iowa LLC taxed as a Corporation, make sure you speak with an accountant as there are a lot of details you need to consider. Having an LLC taxed as an S-Corporation is a much more popular choice than having an LLC taxed as a C-Corporation. S-Corporation taxation usually makes sense once an LLC generates about $70,000 in net income per year.

How to apply for an EIN for your Iowa LLC

Below you will find 3 different sets of instructions:

1. If you have an SSN or ITIN, use the EIN online application

We recommend applying for an EIN online for your Iowa LLC if you have an SSN or ITIN.

This is the easiest filing method and it has the fastest approval time.

We have instructions here:
How to apply for an EIN online

2. If you apply online, but you get an error message

If you have an SSN or ITIN, apply for an EIN online, but you get an error message (called an EIN reference number) at the end, you will need to mail or fax Form SS-4 to the IRS instead.

We have instructions here:
Apply for EIN for LLC with Form SS-4

3. If you don’t have an SSN or ITIN

If you don’t have an SSN or ITIN, you can still get an EIN for your Iowa LLC. You just can’t apply for an EIN online.

You will need to mail or fax Form SS-4 to the IRS instead and you must fill the form out in a certain way.

We have instructions here:
How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN

EIN Confirmation Letter (EIN Approval)

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

The method you used to apply for an EIN will determine how you receive your EIN Confirmation Letter.

If you applied for an EIN online:
You’ll be able to download a PDF copy of your EIN Confirmation Letter at the end of the online application. There is no waiting time. The IRS will also send you a duplicate copy in the mail in about 4 to 5 weeks.

If you sent Form SS-4 by fax:
The IRS will fax you back your EIN Confirmation Letter within 4 to 7 business days.

If you sent Form SS-4 by mail:
The IRS will mail your EIN Confirmation Letter within 4 to 8 weeks.

Here is what the EIN Confirmation Letter for an LLC looks like:

EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575) for LLC

How to Cancel an EIN?

If there was a mistake with your first EIN application or you need to cancel your EIN Number for any reason, you just need to mail a cancellation letter to the IRS.

We have instructions here: how to cancel an EIN.

You don’t have to wait for your EIN cancellation to be finalized before getting a new EIN for your Iowa LLC.

LLC Business Bank Account

After getting your EIN, you can then open a separate business bank account for your Iowa LLC.

Banks usually ask for the following documents to open an Iowa LLC business bank account:

  • EIN Confirmation Letter
  • LLC Approval (stamped and approved Certificate of Organization)
  • LLC Operating Agreement
  • Driver’s License and/or Passport

Aside from the above, banks may also require other paperwork (like proof of address), so we recommend calling a few banks in Iowa ahead of time before visiting them in person. It’s also a good idea to ask if they have monthly fees on their “basic” business checking accounts since there are a number of banks that don’t have any monthly fees.

If you’re a non-US resident (foreigner), you will need to show 2 forms of identification, such as your foreign passport and your foreign driver’s license. There are additional things to keep in mind when opening a U.S. bank account for your Iowa LLC that we have listed here: Non-US resident opening U.S. bank account for an LLC

Note: You will need to open a bank account in Iowa since that is where you formed your LLC.

IRS Contact Information

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

We recommend that you call the IRS early to avoid long holding times.

Next Step

Once the IRS has issued an EIN for your Iowa LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Iowa LLC Biennial Report.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
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.

10 Comments

  1. Greg Brown May 3, 2018

    If in my state my SMLLC moves to Disregarded Entity how does that effect me and will the personally assets stay separate if I leave it like this.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz May 16, 2018

      Hi Greg, by default, your single-member LLC is already a disregard entity with the IRS. This doesn’t affect your personal asset protection at all. It’s simply a “tax entity” name used by the IRS. Hope that helps.

      reply
  2. Greg Brown May 14, 2018

    I sent a question on May 3rd and never received a reply. My next question, when file for EIN it said it automatically make a single partner a sole proprietor and that is what I want. What can be done.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz May 16, 2018

      Hi Greg, I don’t fully understand your question. Can you please rephrase it? Thank you.

      reply
  3. Melissa Nord July 8, 2018

    Hi Matt, I already have an EIN (sole proprietor) from a few years ago but am now creating an LLC. Do I need to apply for another EIN or is my current okay to continue using with LLC?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz August 12, 2018

      Hi Melissa, we recommend getting a new EIN (since it only takes 15 minutes) to keep records more organized and it’s easier. If your LLC will just have 1 Member, you can use the same EIN, but you have to send a letter to the IRS. However, if your LLC will have 2 or more Members, you must get a new EIN. Hope that helps.

      reply
  4. Jay Van Wyk September 4, 2018

    Matt
    Many thanks to you for providing this site. very helpful.
    One quick question. I am currently a sole proprietor with a EIN different from my SSN for my insurance agency 1099 income. I do have a W-2 income as well. that income of course reports to my SSN. I am planning on starting an LLC in 2019. Will I need discontinue my current EIN # after 2018 assuming that I will need to apply for a new EIN for my LLC.

    One other question.. Since I am wanting to make my LLC effective on 1-1-2019, do I date the Certificate of Organization form the day I submit it–next few days or do I sign 1-1-2019 on the form?
    Thanks again!
    Jay

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz October 12, 2018

      Hey Jay! You’re very welcome. I’d leave the existing EIN open until you file a final return. So if you file your final 2018 return (in April 2019), then you can cancel the EIN sometime later in 2019. No rush on that part though. And yes, once your Iowa LLC is approved, then you can can apply for a new EIN. The cancellation of the existing one (meaning whether you cancel or not) has no impact on the new EIN for your LLC. And yes, in Iowa, you change the LLC effective date via Date of Execution in your Certificate of Organization. Hope that helps!

      reply
  5. Jay October 13, 2018

    Thanks! To the point and spot on. I appreciate it. This site is such a great resource.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz November 22, 2018

      You’re welcome Jay! Thanks for the kind words.

      reply

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