What does reference number 104 mean when applying for an EIN online?

Reference number 104 (sometimes referred to as an error code) means that the third-party designee’s contact information is the same as your startup’s contact information. The IRS doesn’t allow this information to match on their online application. As a result, you should make sure that the address and phone number of the third-party designee is different from your startup’s address and phone number when applying online1.

What To Do

  1. If you are the responsible party: Select “I am the president, CEO, or other corporate officer who can legally bind the corporation.” on step 2 of the IRS’s online application.

    or

    If you are the third-party designee: Select “I am a third party applying for an EIN on behalf of this corporation.” on step 2 of the IRS’s online application. Verify that your address and phone number are different from your startup’s address and phone number.

  2. Submit the application again.

  3. If the IRS still says they can't provide an EIN online, apply by fax instead.
Need to apply via fax?

You can use Clerky to do it completely online. Just answer a few simple questions, sign the application electronically, and we'll fax it for you. We'll notify you as soon as we get the EIN from the IRS.

1. The IRS may accept an application with matching contact information for the third-party designee and the startup if you send it in by fax or mail.>↩

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