As a Sole Proprietor, Is My EIN Linked to My SSN?
When you apply for an EIN, you will include your SSN to confirm your eligibility. But when issued, the EIN will only be linked to the Social Security Number of the registered agent. If you are the registered agent, then your SSN will be linked to your EIN.
How Many EINs Can a Sole Proprietor Have?
As a sole proprietor, you can only have one EIN.
Does Your EIN Ever Change?
In most cases, your EIN will not change. But as a sole proprietor, you’ll need to apply for a new EIN if you incorporate, take in partners, inherit or purchase an existing business, or go through bankruptcy.

However, you don’t have to change your EIN if you change your business's name, the operations' location, or open multiple businesses.

What If I Get an EIN and Never Use It?
The IRS will not cancel an unused EIN. So, there’s no harm in getting an EIN for future use.
How Do I Recover My EIN if I Forgot or Lost It?
You can call the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933 to recover your EIN. The service is open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM.
Do I Need an EIN If I Have a Sole Proprietorship with a DBA (doing business as/using an assumed name for business)?
You don’t need an EIN as a sole proprietor. But in some cases, it’s a smart move to get an EIN.
Do I Need an EIN if I’m Self-Employed?
You don’t need an EIN if you are self-employed. But in many cases, it makes sense to get an EIN even though it’s not required.
Can I Look Up Another Business’s EIN?
What’s the Difference Between an EIN and a TIN?
TIN stands for Tax ID Number. That’s a broad category that EINs fit within. So, all EINs are TINs. But not all TINs and EINs. For example, a Social Security Number would also count as a TIN.
Is There a Difference Between an EIN and a FEIN?
A FEIN, or Federal Employment Identification Number, is the same thing as an EIN.
What’s the Difference Between an EIN and a DUNS Number?
A DUNS Number refers to a number issued by Dun & Bradstreet to track the credit activities of a business for its entire life. On the other hand, an EIN is issued by the IRS.

Final Word

A sole proprietor isn’t always required to get an EIN. But even if you aren’t required to get an EIN, it’s often a good idea. That’s especially true if you want to open a business bank account, take out a business loan, or protect your Social Security Number. As a sole proprietor, you can apply for your EIN with the IRS today. 

About the Authors

Sarah Sharkey

Written by: Sarah Sharkey

Personal Finance Writer

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys helping people make better financial decisions. Sarah enjoys traveling, hiking and reading when she is not writing.

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Somer G. Anderson, Ph.D.

Reviewed by: Chip Stapleton

CFA - University Of Indiana

Chip Stapleton is a Series 7 and Series 66 license holder, CFA Level 1 exam holder, and currently holds a Life, Accident, and Health License in Indiana. He has 8 years of experience in finance, from financial planning and wealth management to corporate finance and FP&A.

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Kal Salem

Fact checked by: Kal Salem

MA Accounting - Arizona State University

A CPA and finance professional working with small businesses to educate owners and grow alongside their businesses. He holds a Masters in Accounting and a BS in Supply Chain Management. Owner at Salem CPA Services LLC.

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