EIN Reference Number

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EIN Reference Number 101, 109, 110, 115 and more – what do they mean?

If you’re going through the IRS EIN Online Assistant, there is a chance you’ll run across an EIN reference number (error number) at the end of your application and you’re left scratching your head, since the IRS doesn’t provide a lot of details.

We explain the most common EIN reference numbers below and how to resolve your EIN application issue.

IRS Phone Number & Contact Information

If you receive an EIN reference number that is not listed below, please call the IRS at 800-829-4933. Their hours of operation are 7am to 7pm, Monday through Friday. If you find information about a reference number not listed below, please feel free to share your findings in the comment section below.

Tip: Press option 1, then 1, then 3 to speak to an IRS operator.

EIN Application via Form SS-4

You’ll notice a lot of the solutions below reference mailing or faxing Form SS-4 to the IRS. This is due to the fact that your EIN application requires a manual review process by the IRS.

We have instructions on how to apply for an EIN via Form SS-4. Please see this lesson if needed: Apply for EIN for LLC with Form SS-4.

EIN Reference Number 101 (name conflict/duplicate):

IRS EIN Reference Number 101 is the most common error message that people experience while applying for an EIN online.

You’ll see a message that states “We are unable to provide you with an EIN. We apologize for the inconvenience, but based on the information provided we are unable to provide you with an EIN through this online assistant.

And you’ll see this image:

IRS EIN Reference Number 101

Reference number 101 means the IRS has found a business entity name that is too similar to the name of your LLC. Although it may be unique in the state where you formed your LLC, the name likely conflicts with the name of a business from another state. This isn’t a big deal for concern though, it just means the IRS needs to manually review your filing and you have to apply with Form SS-4.

Solution: File Form SS-4 by mail or by fax as the IRS will need to manually review your EIN application. If you formed an LLC, make sure to include your approved LLC filing form (Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation) along with Form SS-4.

EIN Reference Number 102 (SSN/ITIN error):

Reference number 102 means there is either a mismatch or an error with the Responsible Party’s name and their Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Solution: Try the EIN Online Application once more and make sure to enter the SSN or ITIN correctly. If you still see reference number 102, then we recommend filing Form SS-4 by mail or fax.

EIN Reference Number 103 (existing EIN error):

Reference number 103 means you’ve entered an existing company as the EIN Responsible Party and their records do not match. There is an EIN number and company name mismatch.

Solution: Try the EIN Online Application once more and make sure to enter the EIN correctly. If you still get the error/reference number 103, then we recommend filing Form SS-4 by mail or fax.

EIN Reference Number 104 (Third Party Designee conflict):

Reference number 104 means that a Third Party Designee (a person or company who assists in obtaining an EIN), has entered conflicting contact information. The IRS does not allow a Third Party Designee to have the same contact information as the LLC, specifically an address (either physical or mailing) and a phone number.

Solution: Try the EIN Online Application again, making sure the Third Party Designee’s contact information is their own and is not the same as the LLC’s.

EIN Reference Number 105 (too many attempts):

Reference number 105 means that you’ve made too many attempts online to obtain the EIN (using the same SSN, ITIN, or EIN), each leading to an error reference/code.

Solution: Wait 24 hours and try the EIN Online Application again. If you still receive an error message, then we recommend filing Form SS-4 by mail or fax.

EIN Reference Number 106 (single-member LLC with no EIN):

Reference Number 106 means that your Single-Member LLC (which has employees) does not have a Sole Proprietorship EIN yet.

Solution: Please contact the IRS as we’re not sure what the next best step is. If you run into this problem and would like to share your solution, please leave a comment below.

EIN Reference Number 107 (single-member LLC with too many EINs):

Reference Number 107 means that your Single-Member LLC (which has employees) has more than one Sole Proprietorship EIN.

Solution: Please contact the IRS as we’re not sure what the solution is for reference number 107. If you find the solution and would like to share, please leave your experience below in the comments.

EIN Reference Number 109 (technical):

Reference number 109 means that there are technical issues with the EIN Online Application. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get an EIN online though (like other reference numbers).

Solution: Wait 24 hours and then try the Online Application again. If you still get the error message, you should contact the IRS or apply for an EIN using Form SS-4.

EIN Reference Number 110 (technical):

Reference number 110 means that there are technical issues with the EIN Online Application. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get an EIN online though (like other reference numbers).

Solution: Wait 24 hours and then try the Online Application again. If you still get the error message, you should contact the IRS or apply for an EIN using Form SS-4.

EIN Reference Number 112 (technical):

Reference number 112 means that there are technical issues with the EIN Online Application. There are a number of reasons this message can appear, but a common one is that their systems have a large amount of users and it’s better to try at another time.

Solution: Try the Online Application again or wait 24 hours. If you still get the error message, you should contact the IRS or apply using Form SS-4.

EIN Reference Number 113 (technical):

Reference number 113 means that there are technical issues with the EIN Online Application. There are a number of reasons this message can appear, but a common one is that their systems have a large amount of users and it’s better to try at another time.

Solution: Try the Online Application again or wait 24 hours. If you still get the error message, you should contact the IRS or apply using Form SS-4.

EIN Reference Number 114 (max EINs per day):

Reference number 114 means that the Responsible Party has already been granted an EIN for the day. An IRS Responsible Party can only be assigned one EIN per day.

Solution: Wait 24 hours and then apply again online.

EIN Reference Number 115 (Date of Death shows for Responsible Party):

Reference number 115 is when the system runs a date of death inquiry on the Responsible Party and it comes back showing that party as deceased.

Solution: Contact the IRS if the Responsible Party is not deceased. They may require further documentation to prove this, or they may request filing Form SS-4 by mail or fax instead.

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Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at 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! We teach people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.

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