Although Dana Shultz has retired as a lawyer, he still obtains EINs for international clients because such activity does not constitute the practice of law.
This page about EINs for foreign clients is an Advertisement under Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400, Standard 5 (now subject to Chapter 7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct that took effect on November 1, 2018).
During the past decade or so, I have received many inquiries from foreign owners of new companies in the U.S. They want to know how much it will cost to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service.
SSN = Straightforward
A U.S. entity’s responsible party is the principal officer of a corporation or the manager of a limited liability company. If the responsible party has a U.S. social security number (SSN), then the process is quick and easy. That party can obtain an EIN online in about ten minutes. As a result, there is no need for my help.
No SSN = Complicated
If the responsible party does not have an SSN, then the process is much more complex. For more information, please see Foreign Company Alert: Obtaining an EIN may be your Biggest Challenge in the U.S.
My fee to obtain an EIN is $500. Once the client wires the fee to my attorney-client trust account, the process is as follows.
- I request information about the U.S. entity and its foreign owner.
- Once I receive that information, I prepare required documentation and email it to the client.
- The client signs and returns that documentation.
- Then I fax the documentation to the Internal Revenue Service.
- Finally, the IRS provides the EIN, usually in about one week (though this time has been extended unpredictably during the COVID pandemic).