California Tax ID (EIN) Number Application | How to Apply Online
Looking to obtain your Tax ID (EIN) Number in California? This short California Tax ID Application Guide will walk you through the basic steps you need to follow to apply for your Tax ID (EIN) Number in the state of California. Whether you own a Partnership, multi-member LLC, Corporation, Non-Profit, Trust or Estate, this guide will help you learn what you need to know to obtain your official IRS Tax ID Number within minutes.
Steps to Obtain your Tax ID (EIN) Number in California:
- Prepare Required Information
- Apply for a California Tax ID Online
- Apply for a California Tax ID by Phone, Mail or Fax
- How Do I Get a Tax ID Number in California?
- How Long Does It Take to Get a Tax ID Number in California?
- How Do I Get a California State Tax ID Number?
First, you’ll need to prepare all the required information to register your business with the federal and/or state governments.
At a minimum, you’ll need the following:
- Names. You’ll need the full legal names of all your business co-founders (including yourself).
- Addresses. You’ll also need to gather those co-founders’ legal addresses, so you can receive important mail regarding your business.
- SSNs. Finally, you’ll need the social security numbers (SSNs) of all your co-founders.
There are multiple different ways you can apply for a tax ID in California. Traditional processes rely on mail, fax, or a phone call, but thanks to modern technology, you can now apply for tax ID numbers online.
Applying online is advantageous for several reasons. It tends to be more convenient for most people, since you won’t have to buy stamps or leave the house. It’s also much quicker; depending on how you apply, the online application process usually takes only a few minutes. In many cases, you could get your tax ID in an hour or less.
Since most business owners are interested in getting their tax ID as soon as possible, so they can begin or resume business operations, applying online is usually the best option. Traditional processes are slower, less convenient, and may result in a delay that postpones your business’s launch.
You can also apply for a tax ID through one of several different traditional methods. If you apply by mail, you’ll need to fill out a form and mail it in. If you apply by fax, you’ll fill out a similar form and fax it to the right authorities. You can also apply over the phone, answering the same questions you would on a physical questionnaire, but over the phone with a representative.
No matter which traditional method you use, you’ll ultimately receive your tax ID in the mail, which can take 4 to 6 weeks to process, making it much slower than applying online.
Most businesses in California will need to get an employer ID number (EIN), or tax ID number, before they can do business. This is a 9-digit , unique number that will serve as an identifier for your company, and register your business with the government.
If your business includes multiple partners, such as a partnership, corporation, or LLC with multiple members, or if you plan on hiring employees, you’ll need an EIN. You’ll also need an EIN if you plan on opening a business bank account or line of credit, or if you need to apply for special licenses and permits to operate.
Getting a tax ID number is relatively simple. As explained in the sections above, you can apply for your tax ID number online, by mail, by fax, or over the phone. No matter which method you choose, you’ll need to answer a few questions about your business and its founders. After your application processes, you’ll receive your ID number, and can begin doing business.
The length of time required to get your tax ID number depends almost entirely on the method you use to obtain it. Filling out the questionnaire shouldn’t take long, no matter which method you use to apply—you’ll be answering mostly the same questions, and they’re not complicated or confusing. As long as you have the pieces of information we listed in the section above, you should be able to fill out the questionnaire in a matter of minutes—or certainly less than an hour.
From there, your ID number’s delivery will depend on how long it takes to process your application. If you’re applying by mail or fax, it may take up to 4 to 6 weeks to process your application. After that, your ID number will be mailed to you, which could take several additional days to additional weeks. Applying via phone usually takes a similar amount of time.
The best way to hasten the process is to apply for a Tax ID online. Applying online makes it easier to fill out the questionnaire, and in most cases, it takes less than an hour to process your application and send your new number via email.
You should also be aware that some businesses will require a state-specific tax ID, in addition to their federal tax ID. Your California state tax ID will register your business with the California state government, and is used for state-related functions, like registering for sales taxes on goods and services sold in California, registering for excise taxes, and withholding state taxes for California employees.
While your Federal EIN (FEIN) Number and California state tax ID numbers are distinct, many businesses in California will need both numbers to operate legally. This is true if you’re hiring employees, if you’re selling goods and services in California, or if you’re going to apply for licenses, permits, and certifications in California.
You’ll apply for a California state tax ID in a process similar to your federal tax ID. You’ll need to answer several questions about your co-founders and your business, and you can do so online to hasten the process.