Can You Get a Small Business Loan With Just EIN?

By Lauren Ward · May 22, 2024 · 7 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Can You Get a Small Business Loan With Just EIN?

Is it possible to get a business loan with an EIN only? Yes, but it can be difficult unless the business has been around for a long time.

Lenders like to use a variety of factors to determine whether a borrower is a good candidate for a small business loan. When those factors are restricted to only a business’s financial history, it makes it harder to determine whether the applicant is a good investment. However, it is possible.

Below, we discuss how to apply for a startup business loan with an EIN and why you may want to consider doing so, as well as what you can do if your application is denied.

What Is an EIN?

EIN stands for employer identification number. It’s a nine digit number assigned to businesses by the IRS. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have employees to obtain an EIN.

There are a few reasons why you may want an EIN:

1.   Makes filing taxes easier

2.   Enables business owners to open a business bank account

3.   Helps business owners open a business credit card

Is it possible to apply for a business loan with EIN? Yes, but to improve your odds you’ll want to ensure your business has a financial history. You can begin doing this long before your company is ready to make its first sale.

Does Your Business Have an EIN?

Unless you have specifically applied for an EIN, it’s unlikely your business has one. To get an EIN, you will need to submit an application through the IRS. If you have lost your EIN and can’t find the appropriate paperwork, you may be able to contact the IRS directly and obtain it. Otherwise, your EIN is a nine digit number that is unique from your SSN.

How to Apply for a Startup Business Loan With an EIN Number

Applying for small business loans can be done with only an EIN, but it does take time to establish a business credit history. To improve your odds, follow the steps below:

1.   Apply for an EIN.

2.   Open a business bank account.

3.   Apply for a business credit card with your EIN.

4.   Make all payments to vendors and credit accounts through your business bank account. Ask vendors to report your on-time payments to Dun & Bradstreet, Experian®, and Equifax®.

5.   Check on your business’s credit score.

6.   Once your business has an established credit score, apply for start up business loans using your EIN number.

Why Should You Use EIN Over SSN?

Startup business loans with the EIN number only have a few benefits:

•  Personal credit history is not a factor

•  Borrowers who don’t have a SSN can still apply for a business loan

•  Application process may be easier

However, before you decide to solely rely on your EIN, using your SSN also has some benefits you may want to consider:

•  Credit score may improve loan terms

•  More financing options may be made available

•  Eligibility requirements may not be as difficult to reach

Best Small Business Loans for EIN

Because some borrowers using only an EIN may seem to be more of a risk for lenders, it’s not uncommon for lenders to prefer loans that pose less of a risk.

The top business loans for 2024 for borrowers applying only with an EIN are:

•  Equipment loans: Equipment loans are secured with the equipment itself, which makes them less of a risk to the lender. However, lenders may still impose a cap on how much they are willing to loan to borrowers applying only with an EIN. The good thing about equipment loans is that the loan term often mirrors the equipment’s useful life.

•  Invoice financing: Use unpaid customer invoices as collateral to secure a business loan. Once payment is received, full repayment of the loan is expected.

•  Invoice factoring: Sell unpaid invoices to a third party at a discount. That company collects payment on your behalf. Once they receive payment, they forward any remaining amount to you minus any fees.

•  Merchant cash advances: Borrowers receive a lump sum of cash from a lender. Instead of making monthly payments, a small percentage of each credit card sale is automatically sent to the lender. Neither monthly payments nor collateral is required since payment is guaranteed through sales.

Will My Loan Be Limited?

While it’s certainly possible to get a business loan with only an EIN, keep in mind that lenders use things like personal information, personal guarantees, and collateral to help protect themselves from lending to subprime borrowers.

Therefore, as a small business borrower, your financing options may be limited by only using an EIN during the application process because the lender has less information to go on. If your business has a short financial history, it’s safer to assume you pose a certain amount of risk.

Borrowers applying only with an EIN may find that there are less loan options, higher interest rates, and shorter loan terms.

Recommended: What to Know About Short-Term Business Loans

What to Do If You Aren’t Eligible

If your application is declined, you may consider remedying any issues with your personal credit report (while also continuing to build your business’s credit score).

Remember, your credit report and your credit score are two different things. Your score is a result of the information within your credit report. Therefore, first check your credit reports (TransUnion®, Equifax, and Experian) and see if there are any errors. You can do so for free once a year through www.annualcreditreport.com. If you see any information that should not be there, begin the dispute process.

If there aren’t any errors, you may need to pay down your debt and begin to make all of your payments on time moving forward. If you have any older credit accounts, keep them open even once they are paid down. Also, if any friends and family have strong credit profiles and have accounts that have been open for a few years, you may ask to become an authorized user on their account. Their positive history will boost your personal credit profile.

Aside from bootstrapping and asking for help from friends and family, other options include small business grants and crowdfunding. Both are highly competitive, so you will want to consider still moving forward with the above recommendations just in case.

The Takeaway

An EIN is required for certain businesses, especially any that have employees. An EIN is a nine digit number that is essentially a social security number for your business.

Some business loans can be obtained with only an EIN, but many small business owners will find that their options are limited if they don’t also provide their personal information. Generally, businesses need strong, lengthy credit histories to obtain business loans with only an EIN.

If you’re seeking financing for your business, SoFi can help. On SoFi’s marketplace, you can shop top providers today to access the capital you need. Find a personalized business financing option today in minutes.


With SoFi’s marketplace, it’s fast and easy to search for your small business financing options.

FAQ

Can you build business credit with just EIN?

Yes, it is possible. However, the first step would be to open a bank account using the EIN. From there, the business owner would make all payments to their accounts from that business bank account.

Can you get a small business loan with a bad credit score and just an EIN?

While it is possible to get a business loan with bad credit and just an EIN, loan options are likely to be limited.

What is the average time it takes to get approved for a small business loan with just an EIN?

The average amount of time depends on the loan and the loan amount. Some loans are disbursed within a very short amount of time, while others require a lengthier underwriting process and can take up to several months.

Can you apply for a SBA loan with just an EIN online?

You can apply for a business loan with only an EIN, but you will need to provide other information as well, such as a social security number or tax ID number and a written out business plan.

Are there any added fees to a small business loan with just an EIN?

Each lender may or may not have unique fees associated with the application process. However, applying with just an EIN is not normally the cause or justification behind standard lender fees.


Photo credit: iStock/JLco – Julia Amaral

SoFi's marketplace is owned and operated by SoFi Lending Corp. See SoFi Lending Corp. licensing information below. Advertising Disclosures: SoFi receives compensation in the event you obtain a loan through SoFi’s marketplace. This affects whether a product or service is featured on this site and could affect the order of presentation. SoFi does not include all products and services in the market. All rates, terms, and conditions vary by provider.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

SOSB0324001

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender