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How To Get An EIN Number – A Guide for International Startup Founders

Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is one of the first steps you'll take when founding a new U.S. company. Here we dig into the FAQs. 

how to get an EIN

What is an EIN?

An EIN is a nine-digit number assigned to U.S. businesses by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Any U.S. business that hires employees will need an EIN to file taxes. An EIN  is also a requirement for opening a business bank account and applying for business licenses. If you're unsure whether or not you'll need an EIN, the IRS has a helpful guide

Is an EIN different from a FEIN?

Nope. EIN and FIEN both refer to the same thing! The "F" stands for "Federal."

Can I apply for the EIN as a non-resident of the U.S.?

Yes. Anyone who is founding a U.S. company can apply for an EIN! Even if you are not physically in the U.S., you can apply for an EIN online through the IRS's website. 

Can I hire someone to get an EIN for my company?

Yes. Although getting an EIN is relatively simple, some entrepreneurs opt to hire a third party to apply for their EIN on their behalf. Many third parties, including Legalpad's partners Stripe Atlas and Firstbase, offer packages that include both incorporation and EIN.

What do I need to do before applying for an EIN?

Before you can apply for an EIN, you'll first need to do the following:

  1. Incorporate your business entity 
  2. Secure a mailing address for your business

Once you've completed these two steps, you can apply for an EIN.

How do I apply for an EIN online?

You can apply for an EIN for free through the IRS's website. Once you complete the online application, you will be issued an EIN right away. It's that easy!


Launching a U.S. business is exciting! Legalpad has had the privilege of working with hundreds of international founders and employees. Need more info? Check out our resources covering everything related to business immigration. 

About the author:

Annie Blay

Content Marketing Specialist

Before joining the marketing team, Annie helped over 60 Legalpad clients navigate U.S. immigration on the client services team.