Selling on Amazon is a real business opportunity, and with a real business comes real responsibilities.
One such responsibility is an EIN – an Employer Identification Number.
Most Amazon sellers will need an EIN in order to sell on, and receive payments from Amazon.
The good news is that the process is relatively simple and only takes a few minutes.
The even better news is that in this article we’ll show you exactly how to get your Amazon EIN immediately so you can get your business launched and making sales as quickly as possible.
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What is an Amazon EIN?
An Amazon EIN is an Employer Identification number.
You can think of an EIN like a social security number for your business.
It’s also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number and it allows the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) to track your business activity for tax purposes.
You will need to use your EIN to identify your business with the IRS for any tax queries and when filing tax returns.
Amazon requires all professional sellers to have an EIN in order to sell on the platform and receive payments.
The phrase Amazon EIN number is used by many first-time Amazon sellers as the principle of an EIN is new to them and they are only discovering it through being an Amazon seller.
However, it should be made clear that there isn’t a special EIN number for Amazon, and a standard IRS-approved EIN can be used as an Amazon EIN number.
Do I need an Amazon EIN?
If you are a professional Amazon seller, then yes, you will need to obtain an Amazon EIN number.
If you are selling on Amazon as an individual (not as a business), then you will not need an Amazon EIN and can use your social security number instead.
The information given on the IRS website suggests that Amazon business entities answering yes to any of the following question should apply for an Amazon employer identification number (EIN):
- Do you have employees?
- Do you operate your business as a corporation (eg a limited liability company) or a partnership?
- Do you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
- Do you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien?
- Do you have a Keogh plan?
- Are you involved with any of the following types of organizations?
- Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
- Real estate mortgage investment conduits
- Non-profit organizations
- Farmers’ cooperatives
- Plan administrators
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, it’s time to apply for an EIN.
How do I get an Amazon EIN?
Whether it’s for Amazon or anywhere else, obtaining an EIN tax ID is relatively straightforward.
Step 1: Check your eligibility
If your principal business is located in the US or a US territory and the person applying has a tax identification number you are eligible to apply for an EIN number.
Step 2: Complete your application
Go to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) website to apply online.
Once you have selected the correct entity type, you will be asked to provide some basic information about your business such as your business name, whether you are a non profit and so on.
You will also be required to provide a valid mailing address from within the United States.
Step 3: Access your EIN
Once you have completed the registration form you should receive your EIN immediately.
You will then need to enter this into your Amazon account.
If there are any discrepancies with your application you may be required to complete a tax interview with the IRS.
Your EIN is a unique nine-digit number that will only be applicable to your business and will stay the same for the lifetime of your business entity.
Why do I need an EIN?
Every business entity needs an EIN so that the Internal Revenue Service can keep correct information on file.
Amazon sellers will need an EIN number to file taxes and complete other tax forms on the IRS website.
As an Amazon seller, you will need to provide this EIN to Amazon in order to comply with its policies, conduct business on the platform, and have proceeds paid into your bank account.
What if I’m a non-US seller?
IRS guidelines state that in order to obtain an EIN your principal business must be located in the United States or U.S. Territories.
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However, if you are outside of the US you can register with a virtual mailbox service to obtain a US-based address and use this for your application.
As non-US Amazon sellers ourselves we have had to go through this process and used a service called USA2me.
Do I need an ITIN or SSN to get an EIN?
Yes, in order to apply for an EIN on the IRS website the individual applying needs to have an SSN or an ITIN.
A Social Security Number (SSN) is an employee identification number for residents of the United States.
An ITIN is an individual taxpayer identification number and is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN).
Conclusion: The Amazon EIN number process
In order to sell on the platform, sellers using a professional account will need to obtain an EIN number from the IRS website.
To do this you’ll need a Social Security Number (SSN) or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and detailed information for your company such as a US mailing address.
This is one bit of admin that many Amazon sellers find frustrating, but it is a necessary task in order to get your business launched as soon as possible.
Once this is done, you can dive headfirst into the Amazon seller journey!