I’m baaaack…with practical tips.
April 18th, 2010
Apologies for the delay…I didn’t realize I’d been off the grid for a whole month! I have a good reason, though — I’ve been very busy shaping up my little company and taking it to the next level. Various opportunities require various forms of ID. Most of it is free and easy, but it took awhile to figure it out, find it and fill it out. Even though not everyone needs all of this information all of the time, I advise all of my fellow Accidental Entrepreneurs to take the time now and put it all in place – just in case. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Tax ID – I am a sole proprietor, so most of my clients use my SSN to pay me. However, I have had two major corporations ask for my Tax ID, and their systems apparently couldn’t use a SSN. You can obtain a Tax ID by clicking on the “Apply Online Now” button at the bottom of the IRS Tax ID page. It’s free and you get it emailed in a few minutes. It is apparently not “in the system” for a week or two, but you can give it out right away.
- W9 – If you want to get paid quickly now and then receive a 1099 at the end of the year, you’ll need to submit a W9 to your client. You can save a copy onto your computer and fill in your info. Then all you have to do is mail/email it in for each job. [Correction: In an earlier version, I said it had to be signed, but it doesn't. Therefore, it can be emailed.]
- DUNS Number – This is a 9-digit number generated by Dun & Bradstreet. The number has been adopted by the Office of Management and Budget. Therefore, you’ll need one if you want to do business with the federal government, and some state and local entities. When you apply for a DUNS number, you will be asked to categorize your business and give some basic info. such as the year the company started, the number of employees and gross receipts (I think it was in a range). Your company is then listed in the D&B directory. You apply online, but they call you later to confirm before the number is activated.
Well, I gotta go again, but I won’t be gone as long this time!
Feel free to ask questions or offer advice, whether you are a fellow Accidental Entrepreneur or just have some sage advice for those of who are.