Can I Transfer My EIN to a New Owner?

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The simple answer is no. When ownership of a business changes hands, the new owner must apply for a different business EIN number or tax ID number. Any dramatic changes to ownership, organizational structure or business status – such as converting a sole proprietorship to a partnership – require a new EIN application.

When a New EIN Is Required for Your Business

If you sell your business, the new owner will need a unique EIN number. The same thing applies to changing a sole proprietorship to a partnership, corporation or LLC. The IRS lists several additional situations where companies would need a new EIN:

  • You declare bankruptcy
  • You purchase an existing business
  • Your existing corporation creates or takes on subsidiaries

When You Don’t Need a New Tax ID Number

There are several complex situations with corporations and partnerships where a new EIN may or may not be required depending on the way the company handles termination or leadership changes. As a general rule, however, you don’t require a new EIN application if:

  • You decide to change the name of your business
  • You want to move to a different location
  • You open new locations or divisions for your sole proprietorship or partnership
  • The business is a division, not a subsidiary, of a corporation
  • Your business emerges as the majority shareholder of a merger

Keep in mind that if you start a new company – even if you use the same name as your old business – you will need to fill out a new tax ID application.

How To Obtain EIN

If a business owner, corporation or partnership decides to apply for EIN, they must:

  1. Have a valid taxpayer identification number – such as a social security number.
  2. Fill out IRS Form SS-4.
  3. Submit the application online directly or by downloading and mailing the completed PDF.

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