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Why can't I use a PO Box for the buisness address when applying online for an EIN?

Monmouth Beach, NJ |

I recently formed my LLC online and used a PO Box as the main business address. I am trying to keep my personal info seperate from my buisness. I used the PO Box as the address in all required address sections for the LLC. I did not have to use my home address at all. What addresss do I use for the EIN if the only adresss listed on the business cert is a PO Box and the online application will not allow a PO Box??

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Attorney answers 3


Many state and federal statutes require that a business entity have an actual, physical mailing address for certain purposes. One common example is the requirement likely in every US jurisdiction that the "resident agent" or "registered agent" for the acceptance of service of process for the business entity have an actual, physical mailing address.

There are many good reasons for a small business entity, such as an LLC, to pay a small annual fee to a "registered agent" company, with its own physical mailing address, to serve as the registered agent for the LLC. This is one way to help keep the personal affairs of the LLC's owner/member separate from the business affairs of the LLC itself. This can also provide the LLC with a physical mailing address, when one is needed for certain purposes, such as obtaining an EIN.

Best wishes.

I am happy to give my "answer" to this question, but please understand that my posting does not mean that you have hired me as your lawyer. Even though I am a real lawyer with a current Nevada law license, I have given my input on this legal question for general information only.


New Jersey requirements for formation of a domestic LLC permit the use of a Post Office Box solely when the physical street address is expressly disclosed. This is not unusual. Indeed, many other states have similar requirements in order to regulate business entities formed within the state and to keep business owners accountable and subject to service of process.

I have attached the official New Jersey form for business entity formation as well as the accompanying instructions which expressly require the disclosure of physical street address in connection with the application..

You may not like it, but courts typically consider such requirements a reasonable exercise of police and regulatory power by the state government.

This answer is provided for information purposes only. It should not be relied upon as legal advice which can only be offered to clients in an office consultation setting when all the facts and circumstances can be fully considered and reviewed.


“For every problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.” H.L. Mencken.

If you look at the IRS Form SS-4 parts 4a and 5a (i.e., the requirements for on-line filing are the same), it would appear that the IRS requires a street address. Check out: What states require (or don't require) for formation and registration purposes are largely irrelevant to federal tax law. I never read about nor researched the issue of "why," but the IRS' reasoning for requiring a physical address should be obvious.

Kindly note and remember that my response is merely a general comment on the law related to your question, and NOT legal advice or opinion. Also, your question and my response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between us. You cannot rely upon what I have written, because I do not have all of the information that I need to advise you or render an opinion. Even simple facts you have not shared can completely change my answer. For me to give you legal advice or opinion, you would need to hire me to be your lawyer, and then we would need to discuss this in detail and go over the documents.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations governing tax practice, you are hereby advised that written advice contained herein (if any) was not written or intended to be used (and cannot be used) by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

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