EIN for California Foreign LLC – How to Obtain EIN For Foreign Entity

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To obtain EIN for California foreign LLC one has to follow a few steps. Limited Liability Companies are easier to form than other structures of business. However, it is a bit tricky for the LLCs to form a foreign LLC in any of the states. There can be some restrictions for the Foreign LLCs to form a California LLC. Take a look at this article to know about how to obtain EIN for your foreign LLC. It will answer all your questions related to EIN, including the procedure for a foreign entity to obtain EIN, the filing cost, etc.

What is a Foreign Limited Liability Company?

An LLC is always formed in accordance with the state rules. The state where the LLC is formed is often referred to as the main state for the LLC. It is where the LLC has its main operational center. When the LLC business members are trying to expand the LLC & wish to form it in some other states as well, the LLC is a foreign entity in the new state. The LLC is formed in the new state will be referred to as “Foreign Entity” or “Foreign Corporation” or “Foreign LLC.” Forming the California Foreign LLC is easier & involves obtaining an EIN.

What is an EIN (Employer Identification Number)?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number works as a Social Security Number for your business. An EIN is a unique 9 digit identification code issued to businesses, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the U.S.S., for tax filing & reporting purposes.

Are EIN, FTIN & FEIN the same?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or a Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN). So, there is no difference between these three.

Why Does a Business Need EIN?

An LLC will require EIN for the following reasons:

  1. To file Tax returns – EIN makes it easy to file the tax returns with the IRS. The IRS uses EIN to supervise all the business finances of the LLC.
  2. To Hire Employees – To hire employees in the LLC, an Employer will need the EIN. EIN lets the employers set the payrolls of the employee fo every month. IRS tracks the employee’s payroll taxes with the help of the EIN.
  3. To maintain the corporate veil – In an event where someone has sued the LLC or has filed a lawsuit against it, the EIN protects members’ assets. EIN is an essential part of the company’s corporate veil, which differentiates the business entity from its members.
  4. To protect the individual Identity of the member – The Limited Liability Company uses EON for all its taxation & finances. Nowhere in the financial process does an LLC use an individual’s Social Security Number; hence the Identity of individual members is kept safe.
  5. To open a business bank account – Without the EIN, an LLC can’t open a business account. It is essential to get an EIN even for the business credits & business licenses.

When Does IRS Ask for EIN (Employer Identification Number)?

The taxation documents & reports are filed with the IRS, which requires an LLC about its EIN in the following circumstances.

  • An EIN is mandatory for an LLC with employees for tax filing & tax returns.
  • If the LLC is a multi-member business entity, EIN is required for drawing the partnership return files.
  • An EIN is also asked for excise tax filing.

EIN for a Foreign Entity or Foreign LLC

If someone is a foreign person or if the LLC is a foreign LLC, EIN allows them to start the LLC even without the Social Security Number. EIN allows the member of the foreign LLC to collect a payment, distribute the cash in the company & out of the company, hire employees & report or file taxes.

How to Obtain EIN for a Foreign LLC or a Foreign-Owned Corporation?

Following is a step-by-step guide for obtaining an EIN for a Foreign LLC:

  1. Eligibility – Any person applying for the EIN must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number, e.g., SSN or ITIN; only then can he apply for EIN.
  2. FORM SS-4 – If a foreign entity does not have a Tax Identification Number, it will have to fill-up the Form SS-4, an EIN application. This form is for foreign applicants who do not have a social security number or a physical address
  3. Filing the form with the required information – To be able to apply for the EIN, the following information has to be filled out correctly in the application form:
    – Legal Name & Address of the Business
    – The type of Business Entity
    – Reason for the application for an EIN- The name of the country where the business is incorporated
    – Number of employees
    – The industry in which the LLC does its business
    – Accounting Information
  4. Ways to apply for EIN California
    • Online – An EIN can be obtained by applying online on the IRS website.
    • By phone – A foreign entity or LLC can apply for EIN by calling on 267-941-1099, which is NOT a toll-free number.
    • By Fax – An EIN can also be obtained by fax. The LLC willing to obtain the EIN can fax Form SS-4 to 304-707-9471
    • By Mail – A completed form can be mailed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999.

Restrictions in Business For Foreign Entities in California

There are some restrictions in conducting business in California. Here are some of the rules/guidelines to follow while you start a foreign LLC in California.

Transacting Business in California

Any foreign business LLC that has a physical presence or a similar nexus in the State of California shall collect State Sales tax in accordance with the State regulations. For instance, if the foreign business LLC owns a warehouse, a store, or an office in the State of California or has a sales representative in the State in pursuance of their business operations, then the foreign enterprises are required to collect state sales taxes.

Registering The Business

For registration of the foreign LLC, the business entity must file an Application to Register a Foreign Limited Liability Company (LLC) and a Certificate of Qualification with the Secretary of State to register your business in California. All of the information included in the application therein shall become a public record.

The foreign business LLCs shall also identify their registered agent in the State to act as their official person to receive any communication from the Secretary of State office. The registered agent is the person who accepts and distributes legal documents on behalf of the LLC.

Effect Of Non-Registration

If a Foreign LLC is not registered with the California Secretary of State in accordance with the State Laws, then it may suffer through following consequences:

  • Such a business LLC shall not have a right to legal representation in the Court of Law in the State of California.
  • Any costs and penalties that may arise due to non-registration of the business shall be borne by the business LLC.
  • The members of the LLC shall not be responsible for any of the debts and liabilities of the firm.
  • In California, however, not being registered does not preclude the non-registered LLC from defending a case in case a dispute arises due to breach of contract.

How Fast Can You Obtain EIN for Foreign LLC in California

An EIN for foreign LLC in California can be obtained by immediately if applying online and by mail or fax it may take up to 1 week.

The timeline for obtaining an EIN as a foreign LLC in California can vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors, including the volume of applications being processed and the completeness of the submitted information. While there are no official published estimates of the specific duration it typically takes for the EIN to be issued, it is generally recommended to have all required documents in line and submit the application well in advance of any anticipated timelines or business projections.

Several key elements impact the speed at which the EIN for a foreign LLC can be obtained from the California authorities. The foremost is ensuring all correct and complete information is included in the application. It is imperative to review and verify that all relevant fields on the form are appropriately filled to minimize the chances of requests for additional information or potential rejection, which could further delay the process.

Furthermore, any other necessary paperwork, such as a completed Form SS-4 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), should also accompany the main application to avoid any potential back-and-forth with the authorities. The coordination and preparation involved in ensuring the completeness of the documentation and speedy submission play a significant role in expediting the overall process.

Additionally, it is essential to maintain clear communication with the relevant governmental agencies during the EIN application process. This involvement will allow for addressing any potential issues promptly, reiterating the need for accurate and reliable lines of communication between the foreign LLC and the registration authorities.

An important factor to consider while gauging the time required for obtaining an EIN for a foreign LLC lies in its broader context within a wider business plan. Adequate planning and understanding of the regulatory requirements early in the process can greatly help strategies and timelines. Such anticipation allows for allocation of ample time and resources and reduction of any unwarranted anxiety or rush, enabling a smoother process and navigation of potential delays or hurdles along the way.

As with any bureaucratic procedure, patience and realistic expectations are key. Foreign LLCs and potential entrepreneurs should be mindful that various governmental agencies have their own mandated procedures and regulations to adhere to. While no definitive guidelines exist limiting the time duration for the EIN availability specifically, it is essential to recognize that domestic and foreign entities face comparable hurdles in all stages of doing business in California.

Ultimately, the timeline for obtaining an EIN for a foreign LLC in California is influenced by individual circumstances and diligent efforts in submitting accurate and complete documentation. With proper preparation, clear communication, and an organized approach, the quest for acquiring an EIN can be streamlined, lowering potential timeframes and ensuring an expedited process for foreign LLCs aiming to contribute constructively to the Californian business ecosystem.


How to obtain EIN for foreign LLC in California?

To obtain EIN for your foreign LLC, you have to apply for it from IRS. Fill up the Form-SS4 and send it via phone, fax mail or submit it online.

Do I need to obtain EIN for foreign LLC always?

If you’re a self-employed individual then you do not have to obtain EIN, you can use your social security number to form an LLC.

Are EIN and TIN the same or different?

EIN and TIN (Tax Identification Number) are the same things. IRS issues both the identification numbers to the businesses. It is an eight-digit identification number issued by the IRS.

Do I need a Third Party Designee to obtain EIN for Foreign LLC?

It is not mandatory to have a third-party designee obtain EIN. A third-party designee is an individual appointed by the LLC. That person will be responsible for fill-up the form SS-4 by answering all the questions and also can receive the issued EIN if applied by phone.

How Fast Can You Obtain Ein for Foreign LLC in California

Title: Streamlining the Process: Expedited Acquisition of EIN for Foreign LLCs in California


California, known for its vibrant business culture and productive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, has always attracted foreign investors and businesses looking to establish their presence in the state. One key aspect to consider when starting a business, even before making plans to launch, is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN). However, the process of obtaining an EIN for Foreign Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) in California has at times been cumbersome and time-consuming, hindering the progress of both potential investors and the state’s economic growth. In light of this, it is crucial that the regulatory bodies review and explore ways to expedite this process efficiently and effectively.

Streamlining the EIN Acquisition Process:

To maintain and enhance California’s reputation as a business-friendly state whilst attracting further foreign investments, it is imperative that state authorities and regulatory bodies prioritize efficient processes for foreign LLCs’ EIN acquisition. By eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles, the state can encourage more businesses to establish themselves, thereby leading to job creation and fostering economic growth.

One approach to expedite the EIN acquisition process is through digital platforms and electronic filing systems. Utilizing technology to its fullest potential can bring about significant improvements. By introducing an online portal dedicated to EIN applications for foreign LLCs, the potential for manual processing delays, documentation errors, and human inconsistency can be significantly reduced.

Collaboration and Open Communication:

Further enhancements to streamlining the process can be achieved by establishing strong channels of communication between foreign LLCs and the governmental bodies responsible for EIN allocation. Effective collaboration must be fostered to ensure information exchange and inquiries regarding EIN applications are promptly addressed, cutting down response times significantly.

California’s state agencies should also consider appointing dedicated liaisons who can act as single points of contact for foreign LLCs throughout the EIN application process. This would facilitate the necessary information exchange and ensure that queries receive prompt and accurate guidance, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for foreign LLCs.

Multilingual Support and Simplified Documentation:

English proficiency may act as an unfortunate barrier for many foreign investors, posing challenges when filling out complex forms and documents. Introducing multilingual support for the EIN application process, either through translation services or dedicated personnel, could alleviate such difficulties and make the process more accessible.

Moreover, assessing the documentation requirements specifically for foreign LLCs and ensuring that only essential information is required can further expedite the process. A simplified, streamlined approach would reduce confusion, bureaucratic burdens, and ultimately expedite the EIN acquisition process for foreign investors.

Conclusion (To be added to the existing conclusion of the article):

In conclusion, creating an efficient and swift process for obtaining an EIN for foreign LLCs in California serves both the interests of investors and the growth of the state’s economy. By embracing technology, investing in streamlined communication, and simplifying procedures, California can ensure it remains a hub for global business prosperity. Striving to expedite the EIN acquisition process will reinforce the state’s reputation as an attractive investment destination, proving to the world that it paves the way for seamless business operations.

In Conclusion

Obtaining EIN for any California foreign LLC is a must. This number is required to conduct business, open up a business bank account, report the Taxes to IRS, and so on. EIN is any business entity’s Social Security Number that is mandatory to transact business.

About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

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