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EINs: What They Are and How to Obtain One

Feb 21, 2018 2:21:41 PM / by Allie Blum

So you’ve incorporated your new nonprofit with your Secretary of State’s office, bringing you one step closer to gaining 501(c)(3) status for your organization. But before you can file for tax-exempt status, there’s one interim step you must take: obtaining an EIN. (**Disclaimer: If your nonprofit is located in Louisiana, you must obtain an EIN prior to filing for Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State).

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EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. You may also see EIN written as FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number. An EIN is an individualized nine-digit number that is assigned to your organization by the IRS for the purpose of identification. Because nonprofits are corporations, they are required to have EINs.

The process of obtaining an EIN is relatively simple. It can be done online at EIN Assistant from Monday-Friday, 7 AM - 10 PM Eastern Time. The information below must be provided to the IRS when applying for an EIN:

  1. Name of organization
  2. Physical address (not a P.O. Box)
  3. Social security number of the person within the organization applying for the EIN
    • Note: This person should be a member of your board of directors
  4. U.S. State in which Articles of Incorporation were or will be acquired
  5. Month/ year Articles of Incorporation were or will be acquired
  6. Closing month of your organization’s accounting year
  7. Business purpose
    • Note: This is not a mission statement; the IRS has categories of business purposes listed on the EIN application from which you select one 

Once you have completed the application on EIN Assistant, an EIN will be automatically generated and assigned to your organization. It is important that you house this document in a safe place, in print and online, as the letter is only generated once. You will need your EIN when opening a bank account, applying for tax-exempt status and when completing other IRS-related paperwork. Additionally, some grant-makers will require that you demonstrate proof of your organization’s EIN.

ExemptMeNow will apply for an EIN for any of our customers at no additional cost. If your organization is ready to obtain its EIN, create your free ExemptMeNow account today!

 

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Topics: articles of incorporation, how to start a nonprofit