Washington Tax ID (EIN) Number Application Guide

If you want to start a business in Washington, you’ll likely need to get a tax ID number. Your tax ID number, or EIN, is used for a variety of purposes, and it is necessary to get a tax id for limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships and c-corporations. Fortunately, the process for applying for your tax ID is simple, and shouldn’t take you long to complete. In this thorough Washington tax ID guide, you’ll learn why your tax ID is essential, and how to get it with the quickest turnaround time possible.


Steps to Get a Washington Tax ID Number

  1. Required Information for Your Tax ID Application
  2. Washington Tax ID: Apply Online
  3. Washington Tax ID: Apply via Traditional Methods
  4. Is an EIN Number the same as a Tax ID Number?
  5. How Do I Get a Tax ID Number?
  6. Do I Need a Washington State Tax ID Number?

1. Required Information for Your Tax ID Application

There are a few different methods you can use to apply for a tax ID, but in all cases, you’ll need to fill out an application with some basic information about your business, including some personal details on you and your other founding members. Make sure you have this information on standby when you’re ready to fill out the application. You’ll need to provide everyone’s full legal names, legal addresses, and social security numbers (SSNs). If you have this information ready, the application shouldn’t take long to fill out.

2. Washington Tax ID: Apply Online

Originally, the only ways to apply for your tax ID were through traditional methods, like filling out a paper application or applying over the phone. But thanks to the possibilities of the internet, it’s now much faster and convenient to apply online. You can access the online application using any device that has an internet connection, automatically making applying online more accessible. The application itself is straightforward, and if you have the personal information you need, it should only take a few minutes to complete it.

After you’re done with the application, you should receive your tax ID number in an hour or less. This is where the online application simply can’t be matched; if you use a traditional method, it could take up to 4 to 6 weeks instead. If you’re trying to get your tax ID number as quickly as possible, the online application is your best option.


3. Washington Tax ID: Apply via Traditional Methods

If you’re interested in an alternative method of application, there are some other options available to you. For example, you can answer the application questions over the phone, in an interview style with a live representative. You could also find a paper application, then mail or fax it in. These methods are less straightforward and less accessible than applying online, but the kicker is the length of time they take to return your tax ID to you. Rather than merely waiting an hour for your tax ID, you’ll end up waiting 4 to 6 weeks to receive your tax ID by mail.

4. Is an EIN Number the same as a Tax ID Number?

It’s easy to be confused by the terminology, since there are many different names for the same fundamental concept. If you hear references to a "tax ID" in general, it’s likely referring to your federal tax ID number. This is a 9-digit number assigned to your business by the federal government when you register with it. You’ll also hear it called an employer identification number, or EIN. These are separate terms for the same number.

You’ll need this number under a variety of different circumstances. For starters, you’ll need an EIN if you’re going to hire employees, or if your business features more than one member. Your bank will also require you to have a federal tax ID number; if you plan on opening a line of credit, securing a business loan, or even opening a business bank account, you’ll need to have this number in place.

Some businesses will be required to get a business license or permit by registering with the city. If this is the case, you’ll also need a federal tax ID number to complete the application. And even if you don’t, it’s still good to have on hand for other forms of business paperwork that might apply to you in the future.

5. How Do I Get a Tax ID Number?

Getting a tax ID number is simple, but there are multiple methods you can use, and some are objectively better than others. In any scenario, you’ll be filling out an application for the federal government, officially registering your business and answering several questions about you and your business partners.

You could complete and submit this application through a traditional method, like over the phone, by mail, or by fax. These tend to be hard to access, however, and come with a massive downside: you could end up waiting 4 to 6 weeks to receive your tax ID. Instead, it’s almost always better to apply online. The online application should only take a few minutes to complete, especially if you have all the right information in front of you. When done, you’ll be able to get your tax ID via email in an hour or less.

6. Do I Need a Washington State Tax ID Number?

Your federal tax ID number is a requirement for most Washington businesses, but you might also need a Washington state tax ID number. This number, used primarily for state-level sales tax, is a requirement for businesses that meet certain criteria. For example, you’ll need one if your business is going to sell taxable goods and services in the state of Washington, or if you’ll owe excise taxes on regulated goods. You’ll also need a Washington state tax ID if you’re hiring employees in the state of Washington.

If you need to get a Washington state tax ID, the process is straightforward, and should be familiar to you after reading this article. First, you’ll need to get a federal tax ID number, preferably obtained through the online application. Once you have that, you can answer a few application questions about your business and founding members. While traditional application methods are available, you’re advised to apply for your Washington state tax ID online, since it’s faster and more convenient. When finished, you’ll receive your state tax ID in 4 to 6 weeks.