How to Get a North Carolina EIN Number (for Free) for an LLC - 2024 Guide

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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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina Secretary of State. It is only issued by the IRS.

Don't have an LLC yet? Hire Northwest to form your LLC for $39 + state fee (then add EIN to your order).

Have an LLC, but no EIN? Hire Northwest to get your EIN:
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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
  • North Carolina Federal Tax ID Number
  • Federal Tax Identification Number

Note: An EIN Number is not the same thing as a North Carolina State Tax ID Number. An EIN is issued by the IRS. And a North Carolina Tax ID Number is issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR).

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 North Carolina Limited Liability Company lets you:

  • Open an LLC business bank account
  • File federal, state, and local tax returns
  • File North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 or tax advice, but they will answer questions about the EIN application process.

EIN Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Single-Member LLC need an EIN?

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, because without an EIN you must use the owner’s social security number. And you’ll need an EIN for other purposes – not just filing taxes. Your North Carolina 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.

Does a Multi-Member LLC need an EIN?

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.

Do I need an EIN for my DBA?

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

General Partnership: Your North Carolina 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.

Do I need an EIN for an LLC with no employees?

Yes, you should still get an EIN for your North Carolina 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.)

How should a husband and wife LLC get an EIN?

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)

North Carolina is not a community property state. So North Carolina businesses (including husband and wife Limited Liability Companies) 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

How do I find my EIN number online?

If you lose your EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575), or forget to download it online on the IRS website, 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).

I thought applying for my EIN is what forms my LLC, right?

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.

What if I applied for an EIN before my LLC was approved?

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.

How do I cancel an 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.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. 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.

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16 comments on “North Carolina 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. Hi Matt – thank you so much for all the great info and links!
    I have an EIN as a sole proprietor that I got to open a Solo 401k. Fast forward and I formed a single member (disregarded entity) LLC thinking that EIN was ok to use. AND, I just opened a bank account for my LLC using that EIN and my LLC AOO. I think I’ve really messed up. I think I should have gotten a new EIN when I formed the LLC but since I didn’t, what do I do now?

    • Hey Kim, you’re very welcome! Don’t worry. This is an easy fix:
      • Leave your existing EIN as-is.
      • You’ll want a separate/new EIN for your LLC.
      • Then visit the bank and close your newly opened bank account.
      • On that same visit, open a new LLC bank account. Note: When you’re opening the new LLC bank account, you’ll still be using the same approved Articles of Organization… you’ll just have a different/new EIN Confirmation Letter (CP 575).
      Hope that helps!

  2. Hey Matt this is Rukhsana i am starting a small business for alderly caregiver agency. i applied for EIN number first but i find out i should apply for LLC first. so now what should i do,do you want me to cancel my EIN? i need your help please. thanks

    • Hi Rukhsana, did you apply for your EIN using the exact name of the LLC that was later approved? If so, then you should be okay. If not, then you’ll want to cancel the EIN Number and the apply for a new one once the LLC is approved. Hope that helps.

  3. Hey Matt,

    Awesome material man, really helpful for those of us that aren’t business-inclined. Thanks a ton.

    Quick question re: filing for EIN. I’ve filed and been approved for a PLLC in North Carolina, and will be classifying as an S-corp for tax purposes. When filing for an EIN, is it advised to complete form 2553 beforehand and send to IRS or wait until EIN is assigned and then complete? On IRS website, it states that they recommend “you change your type of structure NOW” before continuing to file for EIN. The reason I ask is because form 2553 asks to fill in an EIN number as a requirement.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!


  4. I don’t believe you are required to get an EIN for a single member LLC. The income would pass through the LLC directly to you, and you would include it as regular income on your individual income tax return. Yes?

    • Hi Edward, that’s mostly correct. The IRS doesn’t require you obtain an EIN if you have a Single-Member LLC as long as you don’t have employees. However, you need an EIN to open an LLC bank account. You’ll also need an EIN if you elect to have your LLC taxed as an S-Corp or have federal excise taxes. Same also applies to alcohol, tobacco, and firearms tax. Hope that helps.

  5. Hi Matt,

    First of all, many many thanks for creating this website. It helped me a lot.

    I have submitted the articles of organization with only my name as the member. But the LLC is really between me and my two brothers who are foreign nationals and don’t live in US. Can I include them on Operating Agreement? What’s the best way to going about it?

    Thanks and appreciate your help.

    • Hi Yasir, you’re very welcome! Yes, you can list the additional Members in your LLC Operating Agreement. Hope that helps!

  6. My name is Reggie Ford I have an EIN # & I’ve misspace the paper work that it was on how can I get the# to call to so I can get someone to tell me what my EIN# is

    • Hi Reginald, you can call the IRS at 800-829-4933 and ask for an EIN Verification Letter. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm. Hope that helps.

  7. Hello Matt Horwitz,
    I don’t have any questions! I just wanted to leave a comment and say THANK YOU SO MUCH for creating this awesome website and the LLC University! I have gained so much knowledge from your website. You and your team have made starting a LLC very simple and I GREATLY APPRECIATE IT! All of the information is useful and concise and I literally have no bad words or complaints against this website. You respond quickly to comments and address concerns and questions with professionalism, and respect. Awesome Job! I definitely will be recommending this website to future LLC owners! God Bless You! and I pray that you will continue to shine and be financially blessed!

    • Your comment is truly touching. THANK YOU!! This is the comment of the month… heck, the comment of the year!! So thoughtful and kind, and well-written. Thanks for all your love and positive vibes!! It’s pouring through my computer screen as I type this now!! I feel it :) Thank you!! I’m so happy to hear we had such an impact and were able to help you. Keep rockin’ and much abundance to you!!

  8. Good Morning,

    I am finding your videos very informing and straight to the point. I am very happy you’ve made useful information like this so accessible and FREE!!

    My question to you is that I am starting my LLC in North Carolina, however, I will be moving to South Carolina later on this year. What, if any problems will I have doing business in SC? Will I have to start all over again, or will I be able to transfer my business and LLC to SC?

    Thank you for any help or insight you can give me. Once again, your program is a blessing for those that want to do it themselves!

    Walter Hazel

    • Hi Walter, thank you for the kind words. We’ve worked very hard, so it’s great to hear – and I appreciate it!

      Do you need to form the LLC in NC right away, or can you wait until you move to SC? If you form the LLC in NC now, you can either 1.) Dissolve it and form a new SC LLC, or 2.) Register your NC as a Foreign LLC in SC.

      Option 2 is usually the preferred as you’ll keep the same bank account and Federal Tax ID Number. The negative to this is you’ll have to maintain an LLC in two states, and continue to pay the NC LLC Annual Report ($200).

      You could also do the opposite. Form the LLC in SC now and then register as a Foreign LLC in NC. There might be some slight advantages this way, as you’ll only need the LLC to operate in NC for a year, and SC LLCs don’t have an Annual Report.

      Back to the first question, you could also hold off on the NC LLC and just form a SC LLC when you move there. There are a few ways to go about it.

      Hope that helps. Keep me posted on what you decide, or just reach back out if you have any more questions!

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