How to Get a Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Department 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:
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
  • Pennsylvania Federal Tax ID Number
  • Federal Tax Identification Number

Note: An EIN Number is not the same thing as a Pennsylvania Tax ID Number. An EIN is issued by the IRS. And a Pennsylvania Tax ID Number is issued by the Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company lets you:

  • Open an LLC business bank account
  • File federal, state, and local tax returns
  • File Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 or guidance, or 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, and you’ll need an EIN for other purposes – not just to pay taxes or register for tax accounts. Your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania Sole Proprietorship (with or without a DBA) isn’t required to have an EIN, but it’s optional.

General Partnership: Your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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)

Pennsylvania is not a community property state. So Pennsylvania 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

How do I find my EIN number online?

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).

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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10 comments on “Pennsylvania 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. Thankyou Matt, you should feel extremely proud of this well put together and invaluable service. I am amazed at how much this is helping me. After reviewing all the online sites (legalzoom, northwest, incfile) and reviewing your diy layout, i feel pretty confident i can do this myself. What would be the 1 or 2 major pieces of advice you would give to someone doing so that avoid costly mistakes?
    Again Thankyou, you (*and your helpers if you have any) are amazing.

    • Hi Jason, thank you very much for the kind words! Our lessons will walk you through the Pennsylvania LLC formation process. I’d say more so than errors on filings, people fail to understand foundational things. We often hear people saying things like “I LLC’d myself”, “I formed a Limited Liability Corporation”, “I incorporated”, etc. The later two could really confuse someone at the IRS if you called and asked a question… and then they could tell you the wrong thing (same thing goes for conversations with an accountant) . Similarly, not understanding that (by default) a Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship and a Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership. Or, whether or not a Fictitious Name (DBA) is needed for an LLC. I’d make a guess and say that’s not you, but those are the most common things we see. If you’re curious about those topics, check out how are LLCs taxed and do I need a DBA for my LLC. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi Matt. You have an extremely useful site here…thank you! I recently established an LLC through Northwest Registered Agent and began to file for an EIN with Pennsylvania. The application asks for a physical address and a mailing address. May I use the address of Northwest Registered Agent, or do I have to list the actual business address? Same question goes for the mailing address. Thanks for your reply.

    • Hey Drake, thank you for the kind words. You’re very welcome! While Northwest does allow it, they actually prefer that you use your actual address for IRS correspondence (physical address and mailing address). Hope that helps.

  3. I absolutely love your site. So easy to follow! No scams or fees. Excellent step-by-step with hyperlinks! You just saved me $300 and it was sooooo easy! Thank you so much!

    It is refreshing to have people invest in local businesses and provide free services or instruction to empower new/local/small businesses. Kudos!

    • Hi Shawn, you’re very welcome! Thank you for the awesome comment :)

  4. Hello I’m in a LLC with a partner who no longer is in it. What steps or forms do I need to do to take to take their name off company?

    • Hi Olivia, you’ll need to review your LLC’s Operating Agreement to see if you have rules in place regarding a Member leaving the LLC. You’ll also want to document this change in ownership via an agreement or resolution of the LLC Members. That’s all the “internal stuff”, meaning it’s not filed with the PA Bureau of Corporations or the PA Department of Revenue. And I recommend hiring a lawyer for this. LLC Members are usually not listed in your Certificate of Organization (unless you added a custom provision/article), so you technically don’t have to file a Certificate of Amendment with the PA Bureau of Corporations, however later, when you update the IRS, the IRS will want an official copy of a document from the state showing the Member is leaving and that there’s now just one Member/owner, so to make your life simpler, we recommend filing a Certificate of Amendment with the PA Bureau of Corporations making a statement about the change in Members.

      Then you’ll need to mail a letter to the IRS and include the LLC name, the LLC’s EIN, a statement about the change in owners, a statement that your LLC will now be taxed as a Sole Proprietorship (instead of being taxed as a Partnership), and you’ll need to include a copy of your stamped and approved Certificate of Amendment. Also within your letter, make sure to ask for a confirmation to be mailed back to you. The IRS will then send a confirmation letter in about 30-45 days.

      You may also need to contact the PA Department of Revenue and let them know that there’s been a change in ownership and that your LLC is going be taxed as a Sole Proprietorship now instead of a Partnership. Your accountant should be able to help with this, along with filing a “final return” for your federal and state (and possibly local) tax returns.

      If that all sounds too messy and complicated, you could also consider dissolving (shutting down) your current LLC and then forming a new LLC where you’re the only owner. Sometimes that can be a lot cleaner and create a better paper trail. However, if that’s the case, you’ll still need to file “final” tax returns for your Partnership. Hope that helps!

  5. I would like to apply business name LLC . Can you please help me what form I need to fill out, thanks

    • Hi Jenny, please look towards the top of the page for all of our Pennsylvania LLC lessons. Follow them in order and it will show you how to complete all the steps to forming an LLC in PA.

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