Domestic EIN in Iowa – How to Obtain EIN in Iowa

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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An Employer Identification Number (EIN) also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number is an essential identifier issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for all businesses in Iowa. A nine-digit number serves as a unique identification for businesses enabling the IRS to track tax returns and payments among other financial transactions.

Iowa, also known as The Hawkeye State, has immense opportunities for businesses. Be it an LLC (Limited Liability Company), sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation – every business, located in Iowa, must obtain the EIN to conduct business in Iowa. This article comprehensively discusses obtaining domestic EIN in Iowa; its purpose; application process; requirements and related regulations.

What is a Domestic EIN in Iowa?

In Iowa, the process of obtaining an EIN for your LLC is relatively straightforward. However, there are certain requirements and steps that you need to follow to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. In this article, we’ll cover the following topics:

  1. What is an EIN?
  2. When do LLCs in Iowa need an EIN?
  3. How to obtain an EIN for your LLC in Iowa
  4. Benefits of having an EIN for your LLC
  5. Common mistakes to avoid when applying for an EIN
  6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A domestic EIN in Iowa refers to an Employer Identification Number given to enterprises that operate within Iowa or the United States or any of its territories. It is a distinct number sequence used as federal tax ID which helps IRS identify accurately and monitor businesses’ tax obligations. Unlike individual Social Security Numbers (SSNs), which are assigned to people alone in Iowa, EINs are designed specifically for organizational bodies.

If you’re starting an LLC in Iowa, you must obtain EIN for server purposes. Irrespective of the LLC’s management structure, EIN is mandatory for all types of LLCs, Corporations, Sole proprietorships, and other types of businesses.

The Purpose of a Domestic EIN

The main objective of having this type of identification among companies based in America can be summed up as follows: facilitating taxation administration and reporting. It becomes obligatory in various entrepreneurial activities like;

corporate tax
  • Hiring employees – If your company in Iowa hires workers then you must get one so that it can report payroll taxes plus remit them besides adhering to different employment-related laws in Iowa.
  • Filing business tax returns – Corporations together with partnerships among other specified types of organizations must have an E.I.N when filing their federal income tax return including employment taxes as well excise duty.
  • Establishment Of Business Bank Accounts: Most banking institutions require firms to produce an employer identification number while opening accounts for their enterprises since it aids in verifying legality and distinguishing separate identity from personal finances.
  • Application For Business Licenses And Permits: The local government of Iowa might demand the presentation of an employer identification number by applicants seeking various licenses and permits like sales tax permits, zoning permits, or even business licenses.
  • Applying For Business Credit: Lenders and Credit providers often need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to create credit profiles for businesses to evaluate their creditworthiness. In Iowa, there are many banks that provide
  • Withholding Taxes on Certain Payments: Non-resident aliens receiving income subject to withholding tax should provide you with your E.I.N. while those operating Keogh plans must also be furnished with it since such pensions are deferred taxes.
  • Identifying Trusts, Estates, and Non-Profit Organizations: A trust, estate, real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC), or non-profit organization farmer’s cooperative plan administrator should get one when reporting taxes or for identification purposes.
Does an EIN serve as a Iowa Tax ID Number?

No, it doesn’t mean that EIN serves the same purpose as a Iowa Tax ID Number. An EIN is a federal tax identification number issued by the IRS while Iowa Tax ID Number is given out by the state tax office for state taxation purposes.

Who Needs a Domestic EIN in Iowa?

The Internal Revenue Service has laid down clear-cut guidelines on which businesses should possess a domestic EIN in Iowa. Generally, the following entities must have an EIN:

  • Corporations: Every corporation whether C corporation, S corporation, or personal service corporation needs to get this number.
  • Partnerships: Any partnership including general partnership limited partnership limited liability partnership requires having an employer identification number according to IRS rules.
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs): Most LLCs unless they are single-member LLCs that are disregarded entities for tax purposes will be required by law to obtain an E.I.N.
  • Trust and Estates: Except for some grantor-owned revocable trusts all other types of trusts as well as estates must acquire one.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: All nonprofit organizations – churches, charities among other tax-exempt bodies have no choice but to apply for this identifier.
  • Organizations of the Government: Some government agencies and organizations might need an EIN for specific reasons, such as employee payment or reporting tax-related information.
  • Companies with Employees: Any business entity that hires employees must have an EIN regardless of its legal structure to comply with employment tax laws.
  • Businesses Required to File Certain Tax Returns: Businesses filing employment tax returns; excise tax returns; or alcohol, tobacco, and firearms tax returns must obtain an EIN.

Even if your business is not required to have one, getting an EIN may still be beneficial. For example, sole proprietors and single-member LLCs without employees can opt to use an EIN instead of their personal Social Security Number for added privacy and to establish a separate business identity.

Can I use my Social Security Number (SSN) in place of an EIN when filing taxes for my LLC?

For single-member LLCs in Iowa that are treated as disregarded entities for tax purposes, you can use your SSN for federal taxes. Nevertheless, it is usually advisable to get an EIN so that personal and business accounts can be kept separate, credibility established and protection from identity theft enhanced.

When Do LLCs in Iowa Need an EIN?

In Iowa, the requirement for an LLC to obtain an EIN depends on several factors, including the number of members and the taxation structure of the LLC. Here are the general guidelines:

Single-Member LLCs

Single-member LLCs in Iowa are not required to obtain an EIN for federal tax purposes if they are treated as a “disregarded entity” for tax purposes. This means that the LLC is not considered a separate entity from its owner, and the owner reports the LLC’s income and expenses on their personal tax return using their Social Security Number (SSN). Also read: How to start a single-member LLC in Iowa

However, even if it’s not mandatory, it is generally recommended for single-member LLCs in Iowa to obtain an EIN for the following reasons:

  • Opening a business bank account (most banks require an EIN for business accounts)
  • Establishing business credit and building a credit history separate from the owner’s personal credit
  • Protecting against identity theft by using the EIN instead of the owner’s SSN for business transactions
  • Maintaining a clear separation between personal and business finances
  • Complying with certain Iowa tax and licensing requirements

Multi-Member LLCs

Multi-member LLCs in Iowa are required to obtain an EIN regardless of their taxation structure. This is because multi-member LLCs are considered separate legal entities from their owners, and they must file their own tax returns using an EIN.

Additionally, LLCs in Iowa that choose to be taxed as corporations (either C-corporation or S-corporation) must obtain an EIN, even if they are single-member LLCs.

How to Apply for a Domestic EIN

Applying for a domestic EIN is relatively easy, and there are several convenient methods provided by the IRS. Here’s how it works:

Online Application

The easiest way of applying for EIN in Iowa is through the IRS’s online application system since it’s entirely paperless. This method is available only if the principal business/office or agency/legal residence is located within the United States (including its territories). To apply online:

  1. Go to the EIN Online Application page on IRS website.
  2. Fill out all necessary information on the form which includes the legal name of your business; the type of organization/entity; a reason why you’re applying among others; and personal details about the responsible party like SSN/ITIN etc.
  3. You have to complete this application in one sitting because there’s no option for saving it midway through filling up later.
  4. Once submitted & validated successfully – you’ll get instant approval along with an assigned EIN from the IRS.

Fax Application

  1. Download Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number; fill it out completely.
  2. Find out the fax number relevant to your state/territory from the “Where to File Your Taxes” section in SS-4 instructions.
  3. Fax filled-in Form SS-4 to the designated number provided above based on where you’re filing from.
  4. Usually, if a fax number is given – the IRS will reply within four working days including EIN details.

Mail Application

  1. Download & fill up Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number correctly without any mistakes or missing information.
  2. Check the correct mailing address according to your location/state/territory from the same section mentioned above “Where to File Your Taxes” on SS-4 instructions.
  3. Post completed Form SS-4 to the address provided above depending upon where it should be sent for processing purposes etcetera – always double-check this detail before posting!
  4. It usually takes around 28 calendar days (about four weeks) to process time via mail route thus advisable to apply well ahead of time required for having EIN in hand.

Telephone Application (International Applicants)

For applicants outside the US/territories with principal business/office or agency abroad: Contact the IRS via phone call at 267-941-1099 (not toll-free) between Monday-Friday Eastern Time 6 AM – 11 PM & provide all information asked for in Form SS-4 over the phone call itself. Also read: How to get foreign EIN in Iowa.

How long does it take to get an EIN after I apply?

If one applies online for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), they will receive it immediately upon their successful submission of the application. If fax, mail, or phone was used to apply then processing takes four to six weeks on average.

In order to complete the application, please provide the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, or trustor. This person or entity is known as the “responsible party” who controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity as well as exercises control over its assets and properties. The individual must be a natural person if not a government organization.

Third Party Designee

If you want another person such as an accountant or attorney to speak with the IRS about this application on your behalf, check the “Yes” box in the section indicated on Form SS-4. It is important to note that this authorization ends when EIN has been assigned thereby making it only valid for one specific application.

Obtaining an EIN for your LLC in Iowa:

Getting an EIN for your LLC is a relatively straightforward process. These are generic steps before you obtain your EIN. It is recommended to hire a professional if you’re doing it for the first time. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Form your LLC

Before you can apply for an EIN, you must first form your LLC in Iowa. This process typically involves filing the Certificate of Organization with the Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319 and paying the $50 (by mail and online). It’s important to note that you should not apply for an EIN until your LLC has been officially formed and approved by the state.

Also, before you file the Certificate of Organization, make sure to appoint a Registered Agent for your LLC. Hiring a registered agent is mandatory for an LLC as the RA would be the point of contact on behalf of your LLC for any legal and official issues.

Can I apply for an EIN before forming my LLC?

No, you can’t apply for an EIN before you form your LLC but it is better to have your LLC approved by Iowa Secretary of State first before applying for an EIN. If you apply for an EIN before forming the company this may result in some complications that may require obtaining a new one.

Gather the required information

To apply for an EIN in Iowa, you’ll need to have the following information ready:

  • Legal name of your LLC in Iowa (as listed on the Articles of Organization)
  • The mailing address and physical address of your LLC
  • Name and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) of the responsible party (typically the LLC owner or manager)
  • Number of members in the LLC
  • Taxation structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
  • Reason for applying for an EIN (e.g., starting a new business, hiring employees, changing ownership structure)

Choose your filing method

The next step is to choose the filing method. As mentioned above, there are several ways to apply for EIN. You can either choose online, by mail, fax, or through phone.

Submit your application

Once you have gathered the necessary information and chosen your filing method, follow the instructions provided by the IRS to submit your application. For the online application, the form will be submitted immediately. For the application by mail, it depends on the delivery of the mail to the office. It may take up to a few business days to receive the application sent by mail.

If you hire an LLC formation service, such as ZenBusiness, you might not need to worry about submitting your EIN application. They do that on your behalf. ZenBusiness is one of the top-rated business formation services that offer LLC formation at $0 in Iowa. However, there is a minimum charge to obtain EIN through ZenBusiness.

Receive your EIN

If you apply online, you’ll receive your EIN immediately upon successful submission of your application. If you apply by fax, mail, or phone, the IRS will mail you a CP 575 Notice (EIN Confirmation Letter) within four to six weeks.

Can I change my LLC’s taxation structure after getting an EIN?

Yes, one can do so but they might be required to get another EIN if there have been changes in ownership or organization that call for it.

Daily Limitation

IRS wants all taxpayers treated fairly therefore they limit each responsible party to one Employer Identification Number per day. Whether online or by fax/phone/mail request; these rules still apply.

Tax-Exempt Organizations

The IRS suggests that before applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), you should legally establish your business under state law as a tax-exempt entity. Once issued however there are filing requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service every year failure of which could lead to automatic revocation after three years of non-compliance.

Reporting Instructions

There may be some U.S formed corporations, limited liability companies, and other similar organization types required to submit beneficial ownership information – who owns/controls them ultimately – according to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) reports due from January 1st, 2024 onwards still need studying along with necessary compliance measures by affected entities.

Mistakes One Should Not Make While Applying for EIN

Although the process involved in acquiring a Federal Tax ID Number also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC in Iowa is generally simple, there are several common errors that one must avoid making; these include:

  • Applying for EIN before forming an LLC in Iowa:

One should never apply for a federal tax ID number before their limited liability company in Iowa has been legally established and approved by the relevant state authority like the Iowa Secretary of State located at Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319. Applying for EIN before registering LLC could lead to complications which may necessitate getting a new one afterwards once the business entity has indeed come into existence

  • Providing incorrect or incomplete information on the application:

When applying for employer identification numbers, it’s always important to provide accurate details about your organization such as its legal name, physical address where mail can be sent or received from clients number of members involved among others; failure might result in delays during processing time or even outright denial based on misleading input.

  • Using the wrong filing method:

Although the online application procedure tends to be the fastest and most convenient way of obtaining Federal Tax ID numbers (EINs), some people may not qualify due to various reasons. For example, international applicants without taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) ought to use the telephone instead of online.

  • Applying before determining taxation structure:

It’s vital one knows how their limited liability will taxed whether sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation thus helping them choose a suitable option while submitting a request since tax laws vary depending on individual circumstances.   

  • Failure to keep records properly:

Once issued with EIN, make sure to store a copy in a safe place in case the original gets lost. So that you don’t have to generate another one unnecessarily. Avoiding these common mistakes will ensure a smooth and efficient process when applying for an EIN for your LLC in Iowa.

Points to Note

  • EIN Renewal: There is no need to renew your EIN; once given it stays with you until there’s any change of ownership or structure that necessitates obtaining another one.
  • Same EIN and for multiple businesses: Every separate business entity including Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) must have its own unique Employer Identification Numbers (EINS). You cannot share a single E.I.N. among various enterprises.
  • Misplaced or Lost EIN: Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and ask them for another copy of a confirmation letter bearing your Employee Identification Number (EIN) or verification document showing the same information. This will act as proof whenever required.
  • Change in LLC’s Address: Whenever there is any change of location within Limited Liability Company then the Internal Revenue Service needs to be informed about it immediately so that relevant records can be updated accordingly using Form 8822-B (Change of Address or Responsible Party).


How do I obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for my business in Iowa?
You can apply for an EIN for your business in Iowa online through the IRS website or by mail or fax.
Is an EIN necessary for my Iowa-based business?
Yes, if your business has employees, operates as a corporation or partnership, or meets other IRS criteria, you will need an EIN for your Iowa business.
Can I use my personal Social Security Number instead of an EIN for my Iowa business?
While sole proprietors can use their Social Security Number to run their business in Iowa, having an EIN is recommended for privacy and legal liability reasons.
How long does it take to receive an EIN for my Iowa business?
If applying online, you will receive your EIN immediately. If applying by mail or fax, it may take up to four weeks to receive your EIN for your Iowa business.
Can I apply for an EIN online if my business is based in Iowa?
Yes, the online application process for an EIN is available to businesses located in Iowa.
Is there a fee to obtain an EIN for my Iowa business?
No, there is no fee required to obtain an EIN for your Iowa business. The application process is free of charge.
What information do I need to provide when applying for an EIN for my Iowa business?
You will need to provide information about your business, such as the legal name, address, and type of business entity, as well as the name and Social Security Number of the responsible party.
Can I apply for an EIN for my Iowa business over the phone?
No, the IRS does not offer phone applications for EINs. You can apply online, by mail, or by fax for your Iowa business.
Do I need to reapply for a new EIN if my Iowa business undergoes changes such as a change in ownership?
In some cases, you may need to apply for a new EIN if your Iowa business undergoes significant changes such as a change in ownership or structure.
Can I use the same EIN for multiple businesses in Iowa?
No, each separate business entity will need its own EIN, even if they are located in Iowa.
Can I use an EIN from another state for my business in Iowa?
No, you will need to apply for a separate EIN specifically for your business operations in Iowa.
Will I need an EIN for my Iowa business if I don’t have any employees?
While having employees typically requires an EIN, there may be other reasons why your Iowa-based business would need an EIN, such as opening a business bank account.
What should I do if I lose or misplace my EIN for my Iowa business?
You can contact the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line to request your EIN information for your Iowa business.
Can a non-US resident apply for an EIN for a business in Iowa?
Yes, non-US residents can obtain an EIN for their business in Iowa as long as they have a valid reason for doing so.
Can I cancel an EIN if I no longer need it for my Iowa business?
You cannot cancel an EIN, but you can close your business account with the IRS if your Iowa business is no longer operational.
Do I need an EIN if I am a freelancer working in Iowa?
If you operate as a sole proprietor without employees, you may not need an EIN for your freelance work in Iowa, but it is still recommended for tax reporting purposes.
Can I use my EIN to file state taxes for my Iowa business?
Yes, you may need to use your EIN when filing state tax returns for your business in Iowa.
What types of businesses in Iowa require an EIN?
In Iowa, businesses such as corporations, partnerships, LLCs with employees, and businesses that withhold taxes on income other than wages are required to have an EIN.
Can I change the name or address associated with my EIN for my Iowa business?
Yes, you can update your EIN information if there are changes to your business name or address. Contact the IRS to make these changes for your Iowa business.
What is an EIN and why do I need one in Iowa?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS for businesses operating in the United States, including Iowa. You need an EIN to hire employees, open a business bank account, or establish business credit.
How do I apply for an EIN in Iowa?
You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website, by mail, or by fax. You will need to provide information about your business, including its name, address, and the type of business entity.
Is there a fee to obtain an EIN in Iowa?
No, there is no fee to obtain an EIN in Iowa. The process is free through the IRS.
How long does it take to get an EIN in Iowa?
In most cases, you will receive your EIN immediately upon completing the online application. If you apply by mail or fax, it may take up to four business days to receive your EIN.
Can I use my EIN for multiple businesses in Iowa?
No, each business entity must have its own unique EIN, even if they are related or owned by the same individual or entity in Iowa.
Do I need an EIN if I am a sole proprietor in Iowa?
While sole proprietors are not required to have an EIN, it is recommended to obtain one if you plan to hire employees or open a business bank account in Iowa.
Can I cancel or close my EIN in Iowa?
Once an EIN has been assigned to a business entity, it cannot be canceled. However, if you no longer have a business or need the EIN, you can close your account with the IRS.
Do I need an EIN for a nonprofit organization in Iowa?
Yes, nonprofit organizations in Iowa are required to have an EIN, just like any other business entity.
Can I apply for an EIN on behalf of someone else in Iowa?
Yes, you can apply for an EIN on behalf of someone else as a third-party designee, as long as you have their permission and the necessary information to complete the application.
Do I need an EIN for a business with no employees in Iowa?
While businesses with no employees are not required to have an EIN, it is still recommended to obtain one for tax purposes and to establish credibility for your business in Iowa.
What documents do I need to apply for an EIN in Iowa?
You will need to provide your name, social security number, business name, address, and entity type when applying for an EIN in Iowa.
Can I use my social security number instead of an EIN for my business in Iowa?
While sole proprietors can use their social security number instead of an EIN, it is generally not recommended as it may expose your personal information to identity theft risks.
Can I apply for an EIN in Iowa if I am not a US citizen?
Yes, non-US citizens can apply for an EIN as long as they have a valid taxpayer identification number, such as an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Can I change my EIN in Iowa?
No, once an EIN has been assigned to a business entity, it cannot be changed. If you need to make changes to your EIN, you will need to close your existing account and apply for a new EIN.
Can I use an EIN from another state for a business in Iowa?
No, you will need a separate EIN for each business entity operating in Iowa, even if you have an EIN from another state.
Can I apply for an EIN in Iowa if I already have one from another business?
Yes, you can apply for multiple EINs for different business entities as long as they are legitimate separate businesses in Iowa.
Do partnerships in Iowa need an EIN?
Yes, partnerships in Iowa are required to obtain an EIN for tax and reporting purposes.
Can I apply for an EIN for a trust in Iowa?
Yes, trusts in Iowa can apply for an EIN, especially if they generate income that needs to be reported to the IRS.
Can I reapply for an EIN if I lost or forgot mine in Iowa?
No, you should not reapply for a new EIN if you lost or forgot yours. Instead, you can contact the IRS to retrieve your existing EIN.

Also Read


Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from Iowa is a necessary step for any LLC. The process is not complicated, but it is important to know what is required and follow all necessary steps in order to comply fully with local and federal laws.

This article depicts how to get your LLC’s EIN in Iowa by avoiding mistakes that many people make. There are several benefits of having an EIN for your business such as separating personal and company finances, establishing credibility, and protecting against identity thefts among others also makes hiring employees easy. Having a professional LLC formation service, like ZenBusiness, that offers EIN services in their formation packages.

Remember always consult with experts like accountants or lawyers if there are any questions specific about getting an EIN for an LLC registered in Iowa. They can give advice based on individual circumstances.

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