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Thread: Do I Use EIN or SS#? Can Someone Please Explain? Conflicting Info.

  1. #1

    Unhappy Do I Use EIN or SS#? Can Someone Please Explain? Conflicting Info.

    I am a sole proprietor. Since I won't be hiring employees, I am not
    required to get an EIN. However, I was considering obtaining one anyway
    because I don't want to give out my SS# all the time when I have to fill
    out the W-9 form from paying clients.

    But according to a business finance coach I just discovered on YouTube
    (The title is: "How To Fill Out W-9 For LLC") she states that according to
    the IRS instructions, you cannot write in an EIN number if you are a
    sole proprietor. It must be a SS# instead.

    Is this really the case? And if so, is there anyway around it? I'm concerned
    about exposing my SS# to so many people. Thanks!
    Last edited by ladyboss; 01-29-2019 at 03:18 PM.
    Video Producer & Strategist

  2. #2
    Web Consultant
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Las Vegas
    Blog Entries


    Take what you learn on You Tube with a grain of salt and confirm the info you find there or anywhere on the internet.

    2 things.

    1. Yes you can get an EIN if you're a sole proprietor and you can use it. Right on the IRS website it says to identify "a business entity". It makes no requirement that you be a certain kind of business or have a min number of employees.
    2. You can call the IRS and just ask them what's the best way to go for your situation or what your options are. They actually answer the phone and are very helpful.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 01-29-2019 at 04:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Ontario, Canada


    Sounds like the business coach opts for simple and easy rather than slightly less simple and still easy.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

  4. #4
    Registered User
    tallen's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    New Hampshire & Maine


    Really, it's not that hard -- From the horse's mouth:

    If you are a sole proprietor and you have an EIN, you may enter either
    your SSN or EIN.

    If you are a single-member LLC that is disregarded as an entity
    separate from its owner, enter the owner’s SSN (or EIN, if the owner has
    one). Do not enter the disregarded entity’s EIN. If the LLC is classified as
    a corporation or partnership, enter the entity’s EIN.
    The key point is that you have to match the TIN to the name entered on the first line of the form. Simple as that....
    Last edited by tallen; 01-29-2019 at 08:15 PM.


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