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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 Texas LLC.
What is an EIN Number?
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 Texas Secretary of State. It is only issued by the IRS.
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I have an SSN | I don't have an SSN
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
- Texas Federal Tax ID Number
- Federal Tax Identification Number
Note: An EIN Number is not the same thing as a Texas State Tax ID Number. A federal EIN is issued by the IRS. And a Texas Tax ID Number is issued by the Texas Comptroller.
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 Texas Limited Liability Company lets you:
- Open an LLC business bank account
- File federal, state, and local tax returns
- File Texas income tax
- Register for sales tax permits
- 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 Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas 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:
LLC Business Bank Account
After getting an EIN, you can open a business bank account for your Texas 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
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 filing taxes. Your Texas LLC needs an EIN to:
- Open an LLC business bank account
- Obtain business lines of credit or business loans
- Get a business credit card
- Register for Texas comptroller’s requirements
- 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 Texas Sole Proprietorship (with or without a DBA) isn’t required to have an EIN, but it’s optional.
General Partnership: Your Texas 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 Texas 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 like Texas, 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)
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.
IRS: About LLCs
IRS: Taxation of LLCs
IRS: Employer ID Numbers
IRS: Apply for an EIN Online
IRS: Understanding Your EIN
IRS: Do You Need a New EIN?
IRS: About Single-Member LLCs
IRS: Links for Small Businesses in Texas
Code of Federal Regulations: Section 422.112
Code of Federal Regulations: Section 25.169
Code of Federal Regulations: Section 40.361
Code of Federal Regulations: Section 24.47
Code of Federal Regulations: Section 301.7701-3
Code of Federal Regulations: Section 301.6109-1
Texas Tax Workshops, Meetings and Seminars
TEXAS LLC GUIDE
Follow the lessons below to form your Texas LLC.
28 comments on “Texas 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.
So glad I found your website, it is packed full with useful info and I’ve learned a lot in the past 2 days. I had hoped to use Northwest to form my LLC, but after several calls and left messages no one returned my calls, so I decided to move forward today on my own. I have EIN for my business (dba) since 2018 and actively doing business under that name and have a dba bank account opened since 2018, but now that I’m getting LLC I want to keep my dba name and continue to use that name. The LLC name I decided on is different from my dba, do I need to get an EIN for the LLC (single-member) although I have EIN for dba? Also, if I have to get another EIN for LLC which EIN do I use with companies I do business with (and IRS) dba EIN or LLC EIN? (If you’re wondering why did I make my LLC name different from my dba name…it’s because TX LLC name search showed a name very similar to my dba name). Thanks again and how do I send a donation to your university?
Hi Queen, that is so great to hear! I’m glad the site has been helpful. I’m sorry about your experience with Northwest. These past few weeks, they’ve been swamped, so that’s why there’s been a slow response. You’re technically supposed to get a new EIN for the LLC. And you’d cancel the current DBA name and file another DBA name (can be the same name), but this time, it’ll be owned by the LLC (instead of you). You’ll also want to open a new LLC bank account. And you cancel the original DBA. Going forward, you’d want to use your LLC (or its DBA) and the LLC’s EIN. You’re so kind! You can leave a donation here: donate to LLC University. Hope that helps.
Matt, thank you for running this website. This website is very useful to me. I just made a single member LLC in Texas but I have not registered for EIN. My question is does EIN require for my sole proprietor LLC? I do not expect to have many clients and income at this time.
Hi PK, a Single-Member LLC isn’t required to get an EIN, but you’re going to need one when opening an LLC bank account. Any reason why you don’t want to get one?
Hi Matt, I am thinking it would be easier just to use my ssn to do the taxes.
One more questions, what is the different between Franchise Tax and Annual reporting in Texas? Are they the same or I should file them separately?
I see. Those terms are synonymous in Texas. The Annual Reports for Texas LLCs (and out-of-state LLCs doing business in Texas) are the Franchise Tax Report and Public Information Report. Both of these reports are filed with the Texas Comptroller. There are no LLC Annual Reports that you need to file with the Texas Secretary of State. Hope that helps!
Very informative. Have been looking around about how to start up my own little LLC. You have asked every question and ones I would not have thought of. I was wondering with taxes, if it would be more beneficial to put just myself or put it with my wife and I like in Qualified Joint Venture LLC.?
Jacob R. Fierro
Hey Jacob, thanks so much! Glad to hear. You’ll need to run that question by an accountant as we don’t do deep dives into our readers’ situations. Thank you for your understanding.
Can I set just one LLC for the purpose of doing property management as well as having the LLC own real estate property or do I need to have two separate LLC’s?
Hi Rosie, there is no requirement to do it either way. Some people like to separate the business activities for liability reasons and others just operate and own through 1 LLC.
I have an LLC in Texas already, but wanted to know how complicated it is to change the name? Is it easier to just start a new one? We are changing the direction of our business a little, don’t want to spend another $300 if it isn’t necessary?
Hey HMD, you’ll want to file a Texas LLC Certificate of Amendment (Form 424). The filing fee is $150. You’ll also want to mail a letter to the IRS letting them know about the name change (include the approved Certificate of Amendment). You’ll also want to update your bank, the Texas Comptroller, and anywhere else applicable. Hope that helps.
so after after I receive my EIN whats the next thing to do? I’m from Texas
Hi Antonio, you’ll want to open an LLC bank account and determine if you need a business license and/or permit for your LLC. Speaking with an accountant would also be a good idea. Hope that helps.
Good evening, Matt
Thank you for your information about cancelling my previous EIN and starting a new one,
My new question is about filling out the new EIN.
If I am the only governing person (manager-managed) in the LLC Formation documents but there’s another member that was included in the Operating Agreement, should I say that there are two people in the LCC on the EIN?
On the EIN, it asks how many “members” are in the LLC. Would it be both of us? Just me?
Hi Jordan, you have a Multi-Member LLC (2 Members) that is Manager-Managed (by you). And you filled out your Certificate of Formation correctly. Because your LLC is Manager-Managed, only Governing Persons that are Managers need to be listed (just you and not the other Member). However, as for your EIN application with the IRS (and all other purposes), you should list 2 Members since there are 2 owners. As an FYI, via your Operating Agreement, you and your partner agreed to be Members (owners), then you both agreed that you have the authority to run the day-to-day and make decisions (aka be the Manager). Hope that helps!
Your website is very helpful. We live in Texas and have rental properties in Texas, California, and Colorado. Is a Series LLC an advantageous business formation for our situation?
Hi Abby, that’s great to hear! We don’t have an opinion on Series LLCs yet, so can’t speak about them. However, if you have rentals in various states your LLCs should either be formed in those states (as in a Domestic LLC formation), or your LLCs should be registered in those states (as in Foreign LLC registrations), or you could also form Domestic LLCs in the states where the properties are located and then have those LLCs owned by a parent LLC, say setup in Texas, your home state.
(related article: Domestic LLC vs Foreign LLC)
I’m not sure how a Series LLC would come into play since you’ll likely need to register each Series LLC Unit in the state where it’s doing business (the state where the property is located). I recommend speaking with a few real estate attorneys and tax professionals regarding the best setup. Also if you already own the properties in your name, you’ll need to transfer title to your LLCs. I also recommend reading when to form an LLC for real estate. Hope that helps.
Can you provide instructions on how to get a reseller certificate for Texas?
Hi Zo, at this time we don’t cover reseller certificates, however you can find the application on the Texas Comptroller’s website: Texas Sales and Use Tax Forms. Click on “Resale and Exemption Certificates” then click on “01-339, Texas Sales and Use Tax Resale Certificate / Exemption Certification (PDF)”. If you have any questions you can call the Texas Comptroller (Texas Comptroller contact us page). I recommend calling shortly after they open at 8am to avoid longer hold times. Hope that helps :)
I used to have an LLC in Colorado, which I closed.
I am now opening a new LLC in Texas. I already have EIN which I obtained for the Colorado LLC.
Do I need to apply for the EIN for my new Texas LLC?
Yes since the existing EIN is “attached” to the old LLC. Form the new LLC in Texas, then apply for a new EIN number.
This is a great resource for anybody starting a business. I have one question though. At the bottom of the EIN confirmation letter, there is a perforated line with a section asking you to detach and mail back to them reading: ” return this part with any correspondence so we may identify your account. Please correct any errors in your name or address.”. This was not in the video and I was wondering if it is necessary and what they mean by any correspondence? Clarification on this would be much appreciated. Thank You!!!
Hey Matthew, glad you found this helpful! And great question! That bottom portion should be used if you need to contact the IRS or send them a letter. You do not need to worry about that now, so just leave the EIN Confirmation Letter as-is. If you ever do need to mail it to them, we recommend making a copy. Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.
You’re welcome Matthew!
A thank you doesn’t seem enough for all this information you have provided! But seriously, Thank You! And this almost covers everything, I mean if you were to fund the LLC’s to, then it would be complete. Joking of course!
Hey Herb, we really appreciate your comment! Very happy to hear we could help :)