Why Do I Need an EIN?
An EIN is a tax identification number that the IRS (internal revenue service) uses to track and receive income taxes for businesses.
MoreCommerce requires a tax ID when creating a merchant account. If you are located outside the US, you most likely won’t have a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), and will need to enter an EIN for your business instead.
How Do I Get an EIN?
Step 1: Get a US-Based Mailing Address
The first thing you’ll need is a mailing address located in the US. You need a US based returns address to sell on the site as well, and should be able to use the same one for both purposes. There are a number of services that provide US-based mailing addresses for online sellers located outside the US, such as BoxC.
Step 2: Fill Out IRS Form SS-4
To obtain an EIN, you will need to complete the SS-4 form, which can be found on the IRS website. If you contact the IRS on the phone to get your EIN (which we recommend), you will not actually need to file this form, but will need the included information when you call. Alternatively, you can apply for an EIN by mailing the SS-4 to the IRS, but it will likely take about 30 days to complete, and any errors on the form could cause the process to take even longer. Calling them to get your EIN instantly should be both easier and much quicker!
Step 3: Call the IRS
Now that you have your US-based address and completed form SS-4, you are ready to call the IRS to get your EIN!
Just call them at (267)941-1099 between 6 AM and 11 AM ET and proceed as directed. The call may take close to an hour, including hold time, and the number is not toll-free, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Once you are connected to an IRS agent, simply let her know that you need an EIN for a foreign sole proprietorship, and she will proceed to request the information from your SS-4 and ask some other basic questions about your business. If all goes well, the agent will provide you with an EIN and you can add it to your account immediately, even though it may not be mailed to you for several weeks.