You’re ready to start your Virginia business, but do you have a tax ID number? For most businesses in Virginia, a tax ID is an absolute necessity. And fortunately, the application process for your tax ID is straightforward and easy to understand, even for newcomers. If you’re ready to officially establish your partnership, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or other small business entity, keep reading this guide to learn how to apply for a tax ID.
Steps to Get a Virginia Tax ID (EIN) Number
- Prepare Your Business Information
- Begin Your Application for a Virginia Tax ID Online
- Begin Your Application for a Virginia Tax ID by Phone, Mail or Fax
- How Can You Get an EIN Number in Virginia?
- Do I Really Need a Virginia State Tax ID Number?
- How Do I Get a Virginia State Tax ID Number?
To get a tax ID number, you’ll need to register your business with the government. That means you’ll need to fill out an application (using one of several different available methods) and answer questions about your business and its founding members.
It’s helpful to recap this information in advance, so you can gather it and check it for accuracy. That way, you can ultimately finish the application faster. For starters, you’ll need to gather the full legal names and legal addresses of all your business’s founding members (including you). You’ll also need to get their social security numbers (SSNs).
Several methods of tax ID number application exist for Virginia business owners, but some are objectively better than others. Most application methods emerged a long time ago, when the only methods of communication were traditional mail, phone, and fax. Now that we have access to the internet, it’s far faster and more efficient to apply for your tax ID using the online application.
The online application asks basic questions about you, your business, and your business partners, and you can access it with any digital device. The questions shouldn’t take long to read or answer if you know this information already; in fact, most people can finish it in 5 minutes or less. When you’re done with the application, you should receive your tax ID via email in under an hour.
This fast turnaround time, combined with the convenience of the method, allow it to outclass every other application method available. Traditional methods, by contrast, can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to process.
That said, traditional tax ID application methods do still exist. If you were so inclined, you could answer the application questions using one of the older formats. For example, you could listen to the questionnaire over the phone and answer the questions with a live representative. You could also fill out a paper application, and send it in via mail or fax. The big problem with these method is the amount of time it takes to get your tax ID in-hand; in most cases, you’ll end up waiting 4 to 6 weeks to receive your tax ID by mail, compared to the mere hour it takes to get your tax ID by email when you apply for it online.
Your EIN is your employer identification number, which is just another name for your federal tax ID number. This number is assigned to your business by the federal government, and serves as a unique, 9-digit identifier for your business for the foreseeable future. You can think of it almost like a social security number (SSN), but one that applies to your business, rather than you as an individual.
Most Virginia businesses will need this number. It’s a requirement of any business with multiple members, and any business that plans on hiring employees. You’ll need one to open a business bank account, apply for a line of credit, or get a loan. You’ll even need one to apply for a business license or permit, which your business may need to operate locally.
How can you get this number? You’ll need to fill out an application, answering basic questions about your business and its founding members, but you can access this application in one of several different ways. The fastest and easiest method is to apply online, since you can complete the application in 5 minutes and receive your tax ID by email in under an hour.
You should also be aware that your federal tax ID number, or EIN, is just one type of tax ID number for your business. Your Virginia business may also be required to have a Virginia state tax ID number. This number is also a unique identifier, but it applies at the level of state government, and is distinct from your federal tax ID.
There are several conditions that could require you to have a Virginia state tax ID number. You’ll need one if you’re going to hire employees in the state of Virginia. You’ll need one if you’re selling taxable goods and services in the state. You’ll also need one if you’re preparing to owe state-level excise taxes in Virginia, which apply to regulated substances like tobacco, gasoline, and alcohol. Accordingly, most Virginia businesses will end up needing both a federal tax ID number and a Virginia state tax ID number.
If you need a Virginia state tax ID number, you’ll be relieved to know that the application process is straightforward. You’ll first need to have your federal tax ID number in place. If you don’t have this yet, you can follow the process outlined in the preceding sections to get your tax ID number in under an hour by applying online.
Once you have a federal tax ID number, you can begin the application for your Virginia state tax ID number. This is going to be similar to the EIN application process. You’ll answer several questions about your business and founding members in one of a few different potential formats. Again, the best approach is to apply online. The online application is faster and more convenient, and you should receive your state tax ID in just 4 to 6 weeks.