Is your business in need of a tax ID number? If you’ve recently started a business in Louisiana, you’ll probably end up needing one.
Fortunately, the process for obtaining a tax ID number is simple and quick (if you’re doing it online).
Most business entities, like LLCs and corporations, will need a tax ID, also known as an EIN, to operate legally. In this guide, you’ll learn what conditions require you to have a tax ID, and which method will earn you a tax ID as quickly as possible.
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Steps to Applying for a Louisiana Tax ID Online Application
- Required Information for a Tax ID
- The Online Louisiana Tax ID Application
- Traditional Applications: Louisiana Tax ID by Phone, Mail or Fax
- What Is Louisiana’s State Tax ID Number?
- How to Tell If Your Business Needs a Federal EIN Number
- Registering for Your Louisiana State Tax ID Number
To get a tax ID, you’ll need to complete an application and register your business with the federal government. There are different methods you can use to apply, but they all follow the same basic formula. You’ll answer a short questionnaire about your business, submit it, then wait to receive your tax ID number. The more information you have, the faster you’ll be able to fill out the questionnaire. For example, you’ll need to know the full legal names and legal addresses of all your business’s founding members, as well as their social security numbers (SSNs). With this information in hand, the application will be a breeze.
If your Louisiana business needs a tax ID number, it’s in your best interest to get it as quickly as possible. While you’ll have to register your business in every scenario, some applications are strictly faster and more convenient than others.
For example, take the online application method. Anyone can access the online application, and navigate it quickly. Short, simple, and intuitive, if you have all the information on your business gathered in advance, it should only take you 5 minutes to complete it. After submitting your application, you’ll receive your tax ID number in less than an hour.
Compare that to other application methods, like the more traditional process of filling out a paper application and sending it in via mail or fax; this takes up to 4 to 6 weeks, potentially delaying the process of starting your business.
Nearly every business owner will strongly benefit from using the online application, rather than any other application method. However, there are some other application methods to consider. For example, you could apply via mail or fax; in these approaches, you’ll answer questions about your business by hand, then manually send in the form. You could also talk to a representative over the phone and answer questions about your business that way. In any case, these application methods will force you to wait 4 to 6 weeks to get your tax ID number, making them inconvenient and inadvisable.
When most people use the term “tax ID,” they’re actually referring to a federal tax ID number, which applies at the federal level. But most states also have a state-level tax ID number, for tax and business identification purposes. Louisiana is one of these states.
Your Louisiana state tax ID number is an ID number separate from your federal tax ID, though it serves a few similar purposes. For example, your state tax ID number will be necessary to register your business for state-level taxes in Louisiana. You’re legally required to have one if your business hires employees in Louisiana, if you’re selling taxable goods and services in the state, or if you sell products that qualify for special excise taxes, like alcohol, gasoline, or tobacco.
Nearly all businesses in Louisiana will need both a federal-level EIN number and a state-level Louisiana tax ID number.
Do you really need an EIN number for your Louisiana business?
Your EIN number (also known as an employer identification number, federal tax ID number, or simply a “tax ID”) is a 9-digit number assigned uniquely to your business when you register with the federal government. It’s a legal requirement for most businesses; you’ll need one if you’re hiring employees, as the name suggests, or if your business has multiple partners.
EIN numbers are also required by most banks and other business partners you’ll have. For example, you’ll need one to apply for a business loan or open a line of credit, or if you want to open and manage a business bank account. If you’re establishing a partnership agreement with another business or if you’re recruiting vendors, you’ll need an EIN for the paperwork. You may also need one if you’re going to apply for a business license or permit in your local area.
Even if you don’t formally need an EIN, it may be beneficial to get one. You can use it on most business-related applications in lieu of your social security number (SSN), giving you more privacy, and it will give you more flexibility on how your business can operate in the future. If you’re in doubt, it’s worth getting one.
If your business needs a Louisiana state tax ID number, you’ll need to register your business with the state of Louisiana. Fortunately, this process is easy. First, you’ll need to have a federal-level EIN, since your application will request it. If you use the online application to get this federal tax ID number, you can receive it via email in less than an hour, hastening the process.
With your EIN in hand, you can complete the Louisiana state tax ID number application. Like with your EIN, you’ll have a few options in how to apply. You can use a traditional method, like phone, mail, or fax, but it’s typically better to apply online. If you’re prepared, you can probably complete the application in just a few minutes, but be prepared for a longer wait time than you faced with your federal tax ID number; getting your Louisiana state tax ID number could take 4 to 6 weeks.