restaurant owner using an iPad

To become a restaurant owner is to become a master of restaurant licenses and permits. The Employee Identification Number (EIN) is one of many. Similar to a business license, in order to operate a business in the United States, all businesses must obtain an EIN.

Believe it or not, applying for an EIN number is actually one of the easier parts of the restaurant startup process.

How Can I Get An Employer Identification Number For My Restaurant?

An EIN is assigned by the IRS and it is essentially a tax ID number. You can apply for an EIN through the IRS website, or by fax, phone, or mail.

As listed on the IRS website, here are the three steps you will take to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online.

Applying for an EIN is one of the easier parts of the restaurant startup process.

restaurant licensing and permits guide cover

When all is said and done, to obtain even just one of the proper licenses and permits can cost as much as 10,000 dollars. Luckily, the only resource you’ll need to open your doors with the right licenses and permits is here.

Get The Guide

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

  • You may apply for an EIN online if your restaurant is located in the United States or a U.S. territory.
  • The individual applying must also have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN)
  • Your restaurant is limited to one EIN per day

Step 2: Complete the Online Application

  • You must complete this application in one session. This is important to note. You will not be able to save and return later and the session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity, so prepare to sit down and get it done with no distractions from the kitchen…

Step 3: Submit Your Application

  • You will receive your EIN immediately. From there, you can download, save, and print your EIN confirmation.

How Much Does It Cost To Get An EIN?

Unlike many of the other restaurant licenses you’ve had to apply for, the cost of an Employee Identification Number is free.

How Do I Find My Company EIN?

Once your restaurant has an EIN, there may be times later where you need to find it, and you’ve lost that confirmation paper. Or, perhaps you’re an employee at you’re filing your taxes and you need the restaurant’s EIN to calculate how much income tax you owe at the end of the year.

You have a few options to find your EIN:

  1. Reference the print out (you lost that, huh?)
  2. Reference the original notice issued by the IRS when you received your EIN (they mailed one, too)
  3. Call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933
  4. Find an old tax return. Your EIN should be on it

That was easy, right? Now, onto the rest of those restaurant licenses and permits. Read about those, here.

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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.