App version: 0.1.0

Can You Get a Small Business Loan With Just EIN?

Can You Get a Small Business Loan With Just EIN?
Lauren Ward
Lauren WardUpdated June 6, 2023
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Is it possible to get a business loan with 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 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 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 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 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
Recommended: How to check your business credit score

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 2023 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: Guide to No-Doc or State Income 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 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.   Recommended: The Essentials on Small Business Financing and Building Credit

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.  Explore small business loan options today with Lantern Credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you build business credit with just EIN?
Can you get a small business loan with a bad credit score and just an EIN?
What is the average time it takes to get approved for a small business loan with just an EIN?
Can you apply for a SBA loan with just an EIN online?
Are there any added fees to a small business loan with just an EIN?
Photo credit: iStock/Geber86

About the Author

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward is a personal finance expert with nearly a decade of experience writing online content. Her work has appeared on websites such as MSN, Time, and Bankrate. Lauren writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SoFi, including credit and banking.
Share this article: