How to Properly Fill up an SS-4 Form

An SS-4 is required for many people who are just starting to establish a business, a non-profit organization or a trust. This is the form is used when applying for EIN, employee identification number, which is assigned by the government to businesses and others for their tax filing and reporting.

EIN is used for your business only and should not be confused with SSN. It is very critical to provide the correct information in the forms when filling up the SS-4 as this will establish your business tax account.

You can apply EIN online, by telephone, by fax or by mail depending on how fast you want to get your EIN. However, you must use only one platform, as you only need one EIN per entity. To apply online, taxpayer and authorized party in the US can receive an EIN online via the www.irs/gov/businesses website. You can also receive EIN via telephone by calling their toll free number of the IRS or using a service such as

Here is a detailed instruction on how to completely fill up an SS-4 form. Just a reminder, this is only a guide and before you do it on your own make sure to consult a lawyer or a certified public accountant first.

Begin by downloading the SS-4 form from the IRS website. There is a detailed instruction to fill up the form but for the purpose of discussion, we will review it here.

Next is you have to fill in the information about your business name and address. You will find here a section asking for your Legal Name, which is the business name that will be linked to every transaction and records your business will make. Make sure that you are writing the correct name. Another name to remember is the trade name; this is the name in which you are operating your business.

For the responsible party, IRS is looking for the person in charge of your company’s legal matter. It will also ask you for the principal office, general partner, owner or trustor. Include the SSN, ITIN or EIN for this entity. If you are setting up an LLC, make sure to provide information in 8b and 8c and in 9a designate your Type of Entity (This portion needs the advice of your lawyer or CPA).

For Item 11 on the ‘Date Business Started” write a reasonable date when you opened doors and began offering your services. For Item 12, select the fiscal year by designating a closing month. In Item 13, select the number of employees for the next 12 months.

For Item 14, you must consider whether you will have less than $1000 in employment tax liability (like Medicare, Social Security etc.) if you will have no employees or you will be paying less than $4000 annually in wages then mark “no”. If you have, employees write the expected first payroll date.

For Item 16, you must enter the classification of your business from the choices, if you can relate your business to the list, write others and specify. In Item 17, write the specific products or services that will be supplied. In Item 18, you will be asked if you have previously applied for EIN, write No.

In addition, you may supply the name and address of a “third party designee” to receive EIN or represent you. If you do not have the sign the form noting that you have declared the application to be true, correct and complete.