I had an advertising business as a side project that I stopped doing because the real estate market picked back up> My wife is thinking about starting a business on line and some of the distributors she wants to use need and EIN from her. Can she use my old one from my advertising business since I no longer need it.
No, the WIN was assigned for the previous business to use. It is easy and very quick to apply for an EIN online. You can go to irs.gov and fill out the SS-4 form online. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.
Agreed. An EIN (just like your personal SSN) is not transferrable.
Its an easy process to complete but, if you're uncomfortable doing it, your accountant or lawyer can probably help you with very minimal cost.
International Law Attorney
If your advertising business was a separate entity from yourself (that is, an LLC or Corporation) rather than a sole proprietorship, then it might be possible for your wife use that old entity for carrying on the business; this would allow you to keep the same EIN if that is a concern.