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Do I Need a Tax ID Number, a corporation, fictitious business name, resale / sellers permit or a business license?

Mr. Elias Stassinos, Esq.  received a B.A. from The University of Nevada and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Loyola University School of Law.   He is admitted to practice in the  State of California -  ( Member of The California State Bar and The American Bar Association).

Legally, you are required to identify your business with one of two numbers: either your Social Security number or an EIN or employer identification number. A Social Security number can be used on all your government forms and other official documents, if you are a sole proprietor, but most small business advisors recommend that you apply for an EIN and use that number instead.

Here is where you will need to use this number: All corporations, employers, and those that need to use a business id # instead of their SS#, are required to have it.   Also, in tax resale certificates and some other business forms, you are  required to provide this number.


If you use a name other than your own personal name to operate a business, you are legally required  to file  a Fictitious Name Statement, also known as a dba (doing business as) form.

A corporation or llc, is a good idea if you want to limit your civil, tax, and personal liability.

If you buy or sell wholesale or retail and the goods or items bought or sold are taxable, you need a resale license or  sellers permit.

If you have employees you need a state tax id as well (for California).

In most cases, you are required to get a local or state permit or business license, even if you are working from home - but note: 99.9 percent of all businesses are required to have a business license or business tax registration certificate ( both the same).