Most of the times, things are harder than they look, especially when those things involve the IRS. But I am pleasantly surprised and happy to say, getting an Employer Identification Number from www.irs.gov was amazing easy. IRS.gov has a nice page linking you to the online form, and after filling out the questions, you get the EIN in an instant. You can use the number immediately for most purposes (e.g., opening a bank account). For certain tax purposes, you’ll have to wait about two weeks. But not bad.
Why get an EIN as a sole proprietor?
Let’s be honest, I use the name “Ogorek Data Sciences” in blog post titles mostly in tongue-in-cheek fashion. This EIN is, for the foreseeable future, the Employer Identification Number of Ben Ogorek, the employer of himself. Furthermore, this sole proprietor has a Social Security Number that would work just fine for tax purposes. So why bother with it?
On the other hand, if I’m getting the boat-loads of 1099-MISC forms that I’m expecting in the near future, that’s a lot of Ben Ogorek-SSNs floating around on paper documents in the world. I’d rather replace those with the EIN. And, although I’m not in need of the “corporate veil” necessary for an LLC, it’s nice to practice treating the business as a separate entity with its own tax Id.
Cross it off the list!