What is EIN number? How to Get IRS EIN from Outside U.S.?

Many of Amazon sellers who are not U.S. citizens and are outside the U.S. want to know how to get an EIN number. There are services that will help you with it, but the price is insane. In this article, we will give you a step by step guide on how to get an EIN number. (Please note that: You can request for an EIN number online in a few minutes if you are in United States, by going to this website: IRS)

get ein without ssn

What is EIN number and why do you Need One?

An EIN (employer identification number) is a tax identification number that the internal revenue service (IRS) uses to track and receive income taxes for businesses. There are two reasons why you will need an EIN as an Amazon seller in U.S..

  • When you are creating a professional seller account, Amazon needs you to provide some sort of tax id. And you most likely do not have a social security number and individual taxpayer number, if you are not a U.S. citizen, so you will need to provide an EIN number.
  • You will have to file some complicated forms with customs and Border Protection or provide tax ID such as: social security number, individual taxpayer identification number or EIN to get your goods imported into China. In our experience, it will be much easier to import with an EIN.

How to Get an EIN?

Obtain an EIN can be complicate, that is why some services will ask for several hundred bucks for it! Follow our steps by step guide below to save yourself some money.

Step 1: Get a U.S. Mailing Address

To get a U.S. mailing address is the first thing you need to do. If you are outside United States, you probably are not able to get one. But you can ask for help from your friends in U.S. or find a company provides such service. In case you can not find one, there is a company called USAMAIL1 which provides great services for only $10 a month. They will hold mail/package for you, and forward them to you when you need them.

IRs internal revenue service

Step 2: Fill Out IRS Form SS-4

To get an EIN, you need to fill out the form SS-4, it can be granted here with the instructions. Please know that, you do not really need to file the form, you just have to find out the information which is needed for the form and call IRS. Of course, you can fill out the form and send it to IRS, but it takes about 30 days to create your EIN and be mailed to you. And they will reject your request, if there are any errors on it.

Step 3: Call the IRS

After you have your U.S. mailing address and SS-4 from ready, you should proceed to call IRS and request for EIN. You can get your EIN in about 1 hour by phone, but the number is not toll-free, so get the information ready before you make the call. The number to call is +1 267 941 1099, and we recommend you to use internet call service for cheaper international calling, Google voice and Skype will do. Do keep in mind that the hours of operation are between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (GMT – 5:00), Monday through Friday.

When you are making the call, press 1 for a foreign EIN, and hold for 15 to 45 minutes. When an agent is on the phone with you, you should let him/she know that you need an EIN for a foreign sole proprietorship. And then the agent will ask you some simple questions about your business and form SS-4. Once you have answered all the questions, an EIN will be issued and can be used immediately. Remember to write down your EIN, because it takes a few weeks to send you a copy to you mailing address in U.S..


Now you can set up your Amazon seller account in United States and start to import goods. If you need help with freight forwarding, please feel free to contact us or get free freight quote by clicking here.


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