How to Get an EIN Number as a Seller Outside of the US

How to Get Your Own EIN Number

What is an EIN number?

An EIN number is a United States government issued tax identification number. This number is used to track and receive business income taxes. As an Amazon seller, you will need an EIN number when creating your professional sellers account in the United States. A foreign importer is unlikely to have a SSN, (Social Security Number), or ITIN, (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), which necessitates an EIN instead.

How to Get an EIN as Foreign Importer

Obtaining an EIN number can be a lengthy and complex process. As a foreign importer, it is important to know that although it is not mandatory to have one to import into the United States, it is much simpler and cheaper to obtain one than to file the required paperwork to import without one. As an Amazon seller, this also applies. We recommend planning early and securing an EIN number as soon as possible. A U.S. resident can secure their EIN number in a matter of minutes by visiting the IRS website at: https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp

How to Obtain an EIN Number

If disposable income is not a concern, services exist to complete the task on your behalf, however, to save yourself some money, please follow the steps below to attain your own EIN number. If importing will be done on a regular basis, the ease having your own EIN number will afford you is invaluable.

Step 1: Get a U.S. Mailing Address

Perhaps you have a friend or relative in the states willing to lend you the use of their address. If not, hiring a service to receive your U.S. mail and packages is the way to go

Step 2: Complete IRS Form SS-4

Completing this form is purely for your reference during your phone call to complete the process. You may choose to actually submit the completed form by mail to the IRS, but if any errors exist, it will likely be rejected and the project will need to be started again. It also takes up to 30 days to clear! It is much easier to complete this process by telephone.

The form, and instructions, is here:  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf

Step 3: Placing the Phone Call to the IRS

Now that you have secured your U.S. postal address, and have completed the SS-4, you will need to place the hour-long phone call to the IRS. Be prepared for wait times from 15-45 minutes, and be prepared with enough Skype of Google Voice credit to sustain the call, as it is NOT toll-free. The number is +1 267 941 1099, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST, (GMT-5:00), Monday through Friday.

During the phone call:

Press 1 for a foreign EIN number

After your wait, tell the agent you need an EIN number for a sole proprietorship

The agent will ask if you have filled out your SS-4 form, followed by a few more simple questions about your business

After all of the necessary answers are provided, you will be issued your EIN number.

Write your EIN number down and keep it in a safe, easy to remember location. You will receive a copy in a few weeks at your U.S. postal address.

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