How to Get an EIN from Outside the U.S.
To obtain an EIN as an international applicant, you must call the IRS at 267-941-1099 and press the appropriate number from the menu to receive a foreign EIN. Just be aware that this isn’t a toll free number, and the hours of operation are from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The office is open Monday through Friday only. Also be aware that this call could take quite a bit of time, so be sure to set aside at least an hour of uninterrupted time in your day to wait on hold and speak with a representative.
If you are going to make this call, make sure that you are authorised to get the EIN (either as the owner of the business or as a Third Party Designee who has been authorised to act on behalf of the business). You will also need to be able to answer questions related to Form SS-4
, which you can get by visiting the IRS website and searching for the Application for Employer Identification Number.
Prior to the call, you should fill out the Third Party Designee section of the form if you wish to authorise someone else to receive your business’s EIN and answer the required questions on your behalf. Otherwise, you can leave that section of the form blank. Remember to fill out the signature area, as the authorisation will not be valid without it.
Form SS-4 asks questions regarding your business, including its U.S. mailing address, the type of entity that your company is, your reason for applying for an EIN, and the industry you work within. Completing these questions in advance will allow you to have the answers during your phone call, saving you time, but also be prepared for additional enquiries.
At the end of your call, you will be issued an EIN, which you can start using right away. Be sure to write the number down and keep it in a safe place, as your physical copy will come in the mail to your U.S. address a few weeks later. If you don’t have a U.S. address, ask the representative if they will mail the EIN internationally or send it via email.