Using an Employer ID Number to do Notary Business

Let me preface this article by stating that I am not an accountant, nor do I specialize in any form of business taxes. I just did some research and decided that, instead of using my Social Security Number (SSN), I should use an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, to do notary business.

My biggest concern when selecting this option was identity theft. As a notary signing agent, many of the agencies I signed up with were asking for my social security number. I cannot count the number of W2 forms I've completed over the last several years. I just did not feel comfortable sharing my social security number with so many different entities that I knew so little about.

According to the current IRS rules, I don't need an EIN for my business; however, I chose to use one for the reason stated above. If you are interested, it's fairly easy to apply for an EIN. Everything can be done online at the IRS website at: You may want to discuss this option further with your attorney or accountant to see if an EIN is a good fit for your business. Depending on your current business structure you may need an EIN.

If you are interested in learning more about EIN's, the IRS provides a wealth of information on this subject. There is also an IRS publication available for download titled "Understanding Your EIN."

This is what I refer to as the housekeeping side of our notary business. This is not my favorite part of the business. To be honest, I find this side of the business a little intrusive at times. However, I know it is an integral part of being in business and that it is just as important as the other aspects of the business that I thoroughly enjoy.

-- Phyllis Traylor, U.S. Army Retired is a Contributing Writer with the American Association of Notaries

Legal Disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries seeks to provide timely articles for notaries to assist them with information for managing their notary businesses, enhancing their notary education, and securing their notary stamp and notary supplies. Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. However, we make no warrant, expressed or implied, and we do not represent, undertake, or guarantee that the information in the newsletter is correct, accurate, complete, or non-misleading. Information in this article is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding notaries' best practices, federal laws and statutes, and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered this information from a variety of sources and do not warrant its accuracy. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, loss, damage, or expenses, howsoever arising, including, and without limitation, direct or indirect loss or consequential loss out of or in connection with the use of the information contained in the American Association of Notaries newsletters. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their states' notary authorities or attorneys in their state if they have legal questions. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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