Domestic EIN in Tennessee – How to Obtain EIN in Tennessee

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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get an ein

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 Tennessee. A nine-digit number serves as a unique identification for businesses enabling the IRS to track tax returns and payments among other financial transactions.

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

What is a Domestic EIN in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, 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 Tennessee need an EIN?
  3. How to obtain an EIN for your LLC in Tennessee
  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 Tennessee refers to an Employer Identification Number given to enterprises that operate within Tennessee 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 Tennessee, EINs are designed specifically for organizational bodies.

If you’re starting an LLC in Tennessee, 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee.
  • 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee, 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 Tennessee Tax ID Number?

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

Who Needs a Domestic EIN in Tennessee?

The Internal Revenue Service has laid down clear-cut guidelines on which businesses should possess a domestic EIN in Tennessee. 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee Need an EIN?

In Tennessee, 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee

However, even if it’s not mandatory, it is generally recommended for single-member LLCs in Tennessee 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 Tennessee tax and licensing requirements

Multi-Member LLCs

Multi-member LLCs in Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee.

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 Tennessee:

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 Tennessee. This process typically involves filing the Articles of Organization with the Corporate Filings, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 6th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower, Nashville, Tennessee 37243 and paying the $300. 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 Articles 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee, you’ll need to have the following information ready:

  • Legal name of your LLC in Tennessee (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 Tennessee. 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 Tennessee is generally simple, there are several common errors that one must avoid making; these include:

  • Applying for EIN before forming an LLC in Tennessee:

One should never apply for a federal tax ID number before their limited liability company in Tennessee has been legally established and approved by the relevant state authority like the Tennessee Secretary of State located at Corporate Filings, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 6th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower, Nashville, Tennessee 37243. 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 Tennessee.

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 EIN for my domestic business in Tennessee?
To obtain an EIN for your domestic business in Tennessee, you can apply online through the IRS website, by fax, or by mail.
Is a Tennessee EIN the same as a Federal EIN?
Yes, a Tennessee EIN is the same as a Federal EIN, as it is issued by the IRS for tax purposes.
Can I use my Tennessee EIN to open a bank account?
Yes, you can use your Tennessee EIN to open a bank account for your business.
How long does it take to receive a Tennessee EIN?
You should receive your Tennessee EIN immediately if you apply online, or within a few business days if you apply by fax or mail.
Do I need a Tennessee EIN if I am the sole proprietor of my business?
If you are a sole proprietor with no employees, you may not need a Tennessee EIN, but it is still recommended for tax purposes.
Can I apply for a Tennessee EIN if I am a foreign business owner?
Yes, foreign business owners can apply for a Tennessee EIN as long as they have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
Do I need a Tennessee EIN if my business is not located in the state?
If your business is not physically located in Tennessee but conducts business there, you may still need a Tennessee EIN for tax purposes.
Can I transfer my Tennessee EIN to another business entity?
No, Tennessee EINs are not transferable. Each business entity needs to apply for its own EIN.
What is the cost to apply for a Tennessee EIN?
There is no cost to apply for a Tennessee EIN. The application is free through the IRS website.
Can I use my Tennessee EIN for multiple business entities?
No, each business entity needs its own Tennessee EIN.
Can I cancel my Tennessee EIN if I no longer have a business?
Yes, you can close your Tennessee EIN account with the IRS by sending a letter explaining that your business has closed.
Can I use my Tennessee EIN for a partnership or corporation?
Yes, a Tennessee EIN can be used for partnerships, corporations, and other business entities for tax purposes.
Do I need a Tennessee EIN if I only have independent contractors working for me?
If you have independent contractors working for you, it’s still recommended to obtain a Tennessee EIN for tax purposes.
Can I apply for a Tennessee EIN if I am not a US citizen or permanent resident?
Yes, non-US citizens and non-permanent residents can apply for a Tennessee EIN if they have an appropriate tax identification number.
Can I use my Tennessee EIN to report sales tax?
No, your Tennessee EIN is primarily for federal tax purposes. You will need to register for a Tennessee sales tax account separately.
Can I use my Tennessee EIN to apply for business licenses in the state?
Yes, your Tennessee EIN may be required when applying for state-level business licenses and permits.
Can I change the business name associated with my Tennessee EIN?
If you change your business name, you will need to update your Tennessee EIN information with the IRS.
Can I apply for a Tennessee EIN for a non-profit organization?
Yes, non-profit organizations in Tennessee can apply for an EIN for tax-exempt status.
Do I need a Tennessee EIN if I am a real estate agent or broker?
If you are a real estate agent or broker with no employees, you may not need a Tennessee EIN, but it is still recommended for tax purposes.
What is a domestic EIN in Tennessee?
A domestic EIN in Tennessee is an Employer Identification Number assigned to businesses located within the state of Tennessee.
How can I apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee?
To apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee, you can do so online through the IRS website or by mail using the appropriate forms.
Is a domestic EIN in Tennessee necessary for all businesses?
No, not all businesses in Tennessee are required to have a domestic EIN. It is typically required for businesses with employees or those that operate as a corporation or partnership.
How long does it take to receive a domestic EIN in Tennessee?
Once you have submitted your application for a domestic EIN in Tennessee, you should receive your EIN immediately if applying online. If applying by mail, it may take up to 4 weeks.
Can businesses in Tennessee use a domestic EIN for tax purposes?
Yes, businesses in Tennessee can use their domestic EIN for tax purposes, including filing federal taxes and hiring employees.
What information is needed to apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee?
To apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee, you will need to provide basic business information such as the legal name, address, and entity type of the business.
Are there any fees associated with obtaining a domestic EIN in Tennessee?
No, there are no fees to obtain a domestic EIN in Tennessee. It is a free service provided by the IRS.
Can I use a domestic EIN obtained in Tennessee for a business located in another state?
Yes, a domestic EIN obtained in Tennessee can be used for business operations in any state within the United States.
Is there a deadline to apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee?
There is no specific deadline to apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee. It is recommended to obtain an EIN before starting business operations.
Can I apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee if I am a sole proprietor?
Yes, even as a sole proprietor in Tennessee, you can still apply for a domestic EIN if you plan to hire employees or operate as a corporation or partnership.
Can a domestic EIN in Tennessee be transferred to a new owner of a business?
No, a domestic EIN is assigned to a specific business entity and cannot be transferred to a new owner. A new owner would need to apply for a new EIN.
Do nonprofit organizations in Tennessee need a domestic EIN?
Yes, nonprofit organizations in Tennessee are required to have a domestic EIN if they have employees or plan to apply for tax-exempt status.
Can I cancel a domestic EIN in Tennessee if I no longer need it?
If you no longer need your domestic EIN in Tennessee, you can close your business account with the IRS, but you should not cancel your EIN as it is assigned to the business entity.
Are domestic EINs in Tennessee confidential information?
Yes, domestic EINs in Tennessee are considered confidential information and should not be shared with anyone other than authorized individuals within the business.
Can I apply for a domestic EIN on behalf of someone else’s business in Tennessee?
No, you should not apply for a domestic EIN on behalf of someone else’s business in Tennessee. Each business entity must apply for their own EIN.
Are there any penalties for not having a domestic EIN in Tennessee?
Yes, there can be penalties for not having a domestic EIN in Tennessee if it is required for your business operations. It is best to comply with all federal regulations.
Can I change the legal name or address associated with my domestic EIN in Tennessee?
Yes, you can change the legal name or address associated with your domestic EIN in Tennessee by filing the appropriate forms with the IRS.
Can I apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee if I am a foreign entity?
Yes, foreign entities can apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee if they have operations or employees within the state.
Can I apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee if I have a business located outside of Tennessee?
If your business has operations or employees in Tennessee, you can apply for a domestic EIN in Tennessee, even if your business is headquartered in another state.

Also Read


Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee. They can give advice based on individual circumstances.

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