How to apply for an EIN as a Non-US resident

This is one of those things that kept me from getting started with DSL right away. I really don’t like doing administrative work but not doing it and getting it out of the way so that you can make some real progress in your business is just plain dumb.

Your supplier will require you to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in order to set up a reseller account with them.

Getting an EIN is free and it’s pretty easy if you know how. will happily do it for you for a fee but I don’t see why you should pay to have someone fill up a form for you.

Ok so first, make sure you have a LLC ready to go. This, I will wholeheartedly recommend for. Especially when you’re first starting out and you have no idea what you’re doing, it can help to have someone do it for you.

The form you need to file to obtain an EIN is called Form SS-4. Click here to download the form, and click here to download the IRS’s instructions. You can try calling the IRS with the details but I’ve never had any luck. I would recommend just submitting the form by fax.

Here’s how to fill up the SS-4 form for non-US residents:

Line 1 – Enter your LLC’s name.

Line 2 – Leave blank.

Line 3 – Enter your full name.

Line 4a & 4b – Enter your home (non-US) mailing address.

Line 5a & 5b – Leave blank.

Line 6 – Enter the county and state where your Registered Agent is located (example: Ada, Idaho). You can get this information from MyUSAcorporation.

Line 7a – Enter your full name.

Line 7b – Enter the word ‘Foreign’.

Line 8a – Check the ‘Yes’ box.

Line 8b – Enter ‘1’ (if you’re the only owner of the LLC).

Line 8c – Check the ‘Yes’ box.

Line 9a – Check the ‘Sole Proprietor’ box and leave the field for the Social Security Number (SSN) BLANK. I know that sounds odd but that’s how you’re supposed to fill it out.

Line 9b – Leave blank.

Line 10 – Check the ‘Started new business’ box. Then enter a brief 2-4 word description about what type of business you run (i.e. online retail store).

Line 11 – Enter the date (example formatting: January 17, 2017) that your LLC was officially approved.

Line 12 – Enter ‘December’.

Line 13 – Enter ‘0’ for all 3 types (agricultural, household and other).

Line 14 – Leave blank.

Line 15 – Leave blank.

Line 16 – Check the ‘Retail’ box.

Line 17 – Give a brief 3-5 word description of the type of products you sell. It’s OK to ve vague here. Try ‘Various consumer products’.

Line 18 – Check the ‘No’ box.

Leave all of the ‘Third Party Designee’ fields blank. On the bottom 2 rows of the form, enter your name and title (i.e. ‘LLC Owner’), phone number, fax number, and then sign and date the form.

Ok now that you have the form filled out, scan it and fax it over. You’ll find the fax number on the first page of the SS-4 form.

I need a fax machine?!

Nah. This is 2017, man. A lot of the world still uses fax machines but you don’t need to go out and buy one. Head over to eFax and get yourself a fax number. This is also the fax number you’ll supply on your SS-4 form.

eFax has a 30 day free trial and you should get your EIN well before the trial is up. So go ahead and cancel your eFax account if you don’t need a fax number!

Anyway, after you’ve scanned in your SS-4 form, you can ‘fax’ it out via the eFax platform. A couple of weeks later, you’ll receive a scan of your form, this time with the EIN filled out on the top right-hand corner of the form. You’re in business!