After the articles of incorporation are filed with the Indiana Secretary of State, the next step in starting a nonprofit organization is to acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The EIN is used for filings with the IRS, including form 990 and the application for tax exempt status (Form 1023 or 1023EZ). The number functions as the organization's Taxpayer Identification Number. In other words, the EIN is somewhat akin to an individual's social security number for tax purposes.
An EIN is acquired by submitting an SS-4 to the IRS. Thankfully, this process is relatively simple. While some record keeping requirements apply and the IRS directions must be followed precisely, acquiring the EIN can be accomplished in a matter of a few minutes by applying through the IRS website.