Welcome to another episode of Teaching Tuesday! Business and Law Essentials for your Photography Business!
To recap, so far we’ve discussed business entities (sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC) and the documents you need for those (respectively, nothing, articles of incorporation/bylaws, articles of organization/operating agreement), read more about it HERE. We then discussed fictitious names, read about it HERE. Now that you know what business entity to be and whether you need to file a fictitious name application, next we’re going to talk about EINs, or employer identification numbers.
EIN – Employer Identification Number
An EIN is a number used for tax administration purposes; it is the identifying number you use to file taxes for your business (just like you use your social security number to identify yourself when filing your personal taxes, the EIN is how your business is identified). You can apply by mailing or faxing in an SS-4 Form (found HERE) or you can apply online at the IRS website HERE. There is no charge to obtain an EIN.
You will need an EIN if you have paid employees, want to have a self-employed retirement plan, or to operate your business as a corporation or partnership. If you are a sole proprietor, you do not otherwise need an EIN because you can use your personal social security number (because as previously discussed, when you operate as a sole proprietor, you are one and the same with your business, there is no separate legal entity). Even if you don’t have paid employees and you are an LLC (which may or may not be taxed as a partnership – talk to an accountant!), then you can also have one so that you don’t have to use your personal social security number with your business entity. Some banks require that you have an EIN to open up a business bank account, make sure to call the bank before you go in to open an account to find out if you need one.
For more information about EINs, visit the IRS website HERE.
DISCLAIMER: Information found on this blog is not legal advice, it is merely a discussion of legal topics that affect photographers for educational purposes only. CreatePro Legal Forms is not your attorney and there is no attorney-client relationship or privilege of any kind. Further, this discussion is not a substitute for legal advice.