How do I Obtain an EIN in Illinois?

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Starting a business is an exciting prospect; unfortunately, many would-be entrepreneurs become bogged down with the regulatory aspects of creating the business entity. State law requires owners to take certain steps before they can open shop. In Illinois, the Illinois Business Services Division and the Department of Revenue require the potential business owner to fill out and file certain forms. Companies may also be required to obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS uses a business's EIN to identify it for tax purposes; the business lists this number on its tax returns.

  • Create your business entity by filing the necessary forms with the Illinois Business Services Division. Obtain these forms by accessing the Illinois Business Services Division online. Forms vary based on the business structure. Limited liability companies, for example, must file the Illinois articles of organization, whereas corporations must file the articles of incorporation.

  • Apply for a Federal EIN. There are three ways to do this: use Form SS-4 (see Resources), apply online at the IRS website, or call 800-829-4933. According to the IRS, you need an EIN if you operate a partnership or corporation or if you have employees.

  • Wait to receive your EIN from the IRS. If you applied for an EIN through the mail, expect a response from the IRS in four to five weeks. You may receive your number faster if you applied online or over the phone--according to the IRS, you can check back in one week.

  • Fill out form REG-1 to register your business with the Illinois Department of Revenue. You must have your Federal EIN number unless you are a sole proprietor, in which case you need your social security number. The form is self-explanatory; you need information contained in your business formation documents and basic information about your business.

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