Does The IRS Accept Symbols As Part Of A Business Name?

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Most business owners spend hours figuring out a name which best captures what their business does, communicates their specialty, and catches potential customers’ attention. The thought of not being able to use the exact business title on official forms can be worrying. You may be wondering if the IRS accepts symbols as part of business names. The truth is that some symbols are allowed in a valid EIN number, and some are not. Whether you are applying for a S Corp tax ID number, LLC tax ID number, or something else entirely, learn what symbols you are and are not allowed to include

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To receive a valid tax ID number, you can use the 26 letters in the English alphabet, the numerals 0 through 9, hyphens and ampersands, which is the symbol for “and.” These are the only characters you can use on the official EIN application form. While no other symbols are allowed, the IRS has a list of recommendations for what you can do if you wish to include a forbidden symbol in your business name. It recommends spelling out the names of some symbols, such as @ as “at”, + as “plus”, or % as “percent.” If your business name has an apostrophe, the IRS recommends simply removing it on the application form. Many symbols, such as slashes, can easily be replaced with a hyphen. In all other cases, it may be best to simply leave a space in place of the symbol.

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When you are creating the name of your new business, it can be a way to express your individuality in almost any way you wish. In the eyes of the IRS, you are bound by a few simple guidelines with regard to choosing a name to use to register your business and receive an employer identification number (EIN). However, even if your name includes a symbol that is not allowed, there are ways around it. Read on to know more about IRS tax ID rules and guidelines. 

What the IRS Accepts

In the strictest sense, symbols as part of a business name are not permitted on IRS EIN forms. The IRS does accept the use of numerals, from 0 to 9, as well as all 26 letters of the English-language alphabet. In addition, it allows hyphens and ampersands, the symbols for “and.” Consequently, if your name includes another symbol, you’ll have to decide how to register your business in another way. Luckily, though, there are options, listed below.

Ways Around Restrictions on Symbols

For instance, if your business name uses an “@” or “+” sign or period, the IRS recommends literally spelling “at,” “plus” or “period” out in your online EIN application. If you prefer, you can opt not to use it and leave a space where the symbol is. On the other hand, if you use a forward or backward slash, the IRS suggests replacing it with a hyphen. Finally, if your name includes an apostrophe, the IRS prefers you drop it and do not leave a space where it was.

Ultimately, you have the right to call your business anything you want as long as it isn’t viewed as vile or offensive. In the event you use a symbol, don’t despair, as there are always ways around this dilemma.

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