Business Identity

Today TaxMama answers Susan from the Internet who is “looking for web sites that will assist me to do the following:
1) Apply for a Tax I.D. Number
2) Conduct a DBA (“doing business as” name) Search in my state and / or county.
Are these services available on the Internet?”

Hi Susan,

Of course, everything’s available online! Simply click here and you can learn how to get your Tax I.D. number online,,id=102767,00.html

Be sure to print out and fill in IRS Form SS-4 before you do it online. That way, you’ll be sure to have all the answers in hand.

Otherwise, if you have to stop and look up information or call someone to explain something, the system might time out.

As to getting your DBA…contact the secretary of State’s office in your state.

All corporations will be registered there. They’ll be able to tell you if the name you want is available. In fact, it might be well worth your time to visit your state’s Secretary of State’s website (now that’s a mouthful for someone with a lisp) – they pretty much all have them these days. You should be able to search for a name in your SOS’s database. And if the name’s not there…it’s yours!

While you’re at it, be sure to see if the domain name is available, too. In dot com format. Nowadays, it doesn’t pay to invest in a good business name if, when your customers look for you online, they find someone else’s website using that name. You can also get the .biz version and others, if you like. But make sure to buy the .com domain even before you register the business name with IRS or your state. You can grab it for as little as $8.95 at places like goDaddy

So, my suggestion is start with the domain, then with your SOS’s site, and THEN register for your federal ID # with IRS, using your unique name.

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of business questions and other tax information, free. Where? At

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