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 is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information. However, it is important to note that the information provided on this page is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We do not claim to be attorneys and do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate notary laws governing your state. You should always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for any legal matters. In no event shall the American Association of Notaries, its employees, or contractors be liable to you for any claims, penalties, losses, damages, 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 on any of the American Association of Notaries website pages. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of their state’s notary authorities or attorneys if they have legal questions. 

Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.