What EIN means?
EIN stands for Employee Identification Number. It is a 9-digit number that ID’s a business. In most cases, it provides a tax identity to a business. In the same way we use a SSN for tax ID, a business uses an employee ID number. Indeed, Every FBA seller needs an EIN.
What TIN means?
TIN stands for Tax ID Number.
Are EIN and TIN the same?
Yes and No. They are both ID numbers for businesses and their taxes. In fact, a business can have either. However, a TIN usually applies to a business which employs people. For example, an FBA business of one seller does not need a TIN. They need an EIN. Alternatively, an FBA business with a warehouse and team requires a TIN.
Why do I need an Employer ID Number?
Businesses use EINs for the following reasons:
- Pay federal taxes online
- File their tax returns
- Regulate payroll
- Tax documents to suppliers.
An EIN is a stamp that gives legitimacy to any business and allows it to enter the market. It allows businesses to navigate through the US Taxation system. Additionally, a seller needs one to register a bank account for their business entity. The IRS uses it to track all your payroll advances for your business or company. Lastly, you will need these digits to process complicated customs paper work with CBP. The CBP (Customs & Border Patrol), uses the number to track imported goods.
How Do I Get an EIN?
Obtaining your EIN can be complicated. In fact, many services out there offer to secure yours for $500! Instead, let’s follow the steps below and save yourself some money!
Step 1: Get a U.S. Mailing Address
Firstly, you need a mailing address in the U.S. FBA seller’s outside the US usually do not hold a mailing address. Here’s a couple options we recommend:
- You can get a nice friend to loan you theirs
- Secure a PO box
- Pay a service to receive mail for you/your company.
Step 2: Fill Out IRS Form SS-4
The form you need to fill out to obtain an EIN is the SS-4. The form can be found on the IRS website, and the instructions can be found here. The caveat with this form is you won’t actually need to file it, so don’t stress too much about having everything perfect, you’ll just need the information when you call to get your EIN. (Note: You can fill out the SS-4 and mail it to the IRS. They will take 30 days to have an EIN created and mailed to your U.S. address, and if there are any errors on the form it will most likely get rejected. It is much easier to just call and get your EIN instantly.)
Step 3: Call the IRS
Once you have a U.S. address and form SS-4 filled out it’s time to call the IRS and get your EIN. This call WILL take close to an hour, including hold time, and the number is not toll-free, so be prepared. We recommend using a service like Google Voice or Skype for cheap international calling. The number to call is +1 267 941 1099. Keep in mind this is not a 24 hour phone line. The hours of operation are between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (GMT – 5:00), Monday through Friday.
Firstly, you’ll need to press 1 for a foreign EIN. However, the hold may be anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes (don’t run out of Skype credit!). When you finally get an agent on the phone, let them know you need an EIN for a foreign sole proprietorship. The agent will most likely ask if you have filled out form SS-4, and then proceed to ask a few more simple questions about your business. Once you have answered all of the questions the agent will issue you an EIN that you can begin to use immediately. Write your EIN down and don’t lose it. You will not be mailed a copy for a few weeks, and even then it will be to your U.S. address.
Step 4: Use Liberally!
Now that you have an EIN go to town! You’ll be ready to set up your U.S. based Amazon seller account, import goods into the U.S. and lots of other great things. Now that you’re all set, click here to start an order with us!
Update: It has come to our attention that a US mailing address may no longer be required. Please speak to your IRS representative for more details.