A month later, a bank account is opened

A month ago, I was struggling to get a company bank account opened. To do so required completing a paper work trail that makes a grown man almost want to cry. To open a company bank account, an Illinois tax number is necessary for the business. This in turn requires a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), with requires the person applying to have a Taxpayer Identification Number or Social Security Number. A Taxpayer Identification Number could take 12 weeks, I was told!

Company bank account
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Illinois Tax number
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Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
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Taxpayer Identification Number or Social Security Number

Perhaps because the IRS wants to collect taxes first and foremost, I've been able to short-circuit some of the process. A phone call to this government agency revealed that perhaps I did not need Taxpayer Identification Number or Social Security Number to get an FEIN. "We'll just mark that field as foreigner," they said. It's a shame you can't do that in the online application. By the end of the call I had a FEIN.

A similar story unfolded with the Illinois Department of Revenue, "If you come by one of our offices, we can sort this out". At their W Randolph St office in central Chicago, an office that looked more like a mall than anything else, their looked through the paperwork. "This is the simplest kind of business possible," said the man behind the desk. "Don't tell the competitors," I replied. Given that I don't sell goods, I don't have to pay sales tax - so it transpires I don't need an Illinois Tax number.

Yesterday, the bank swiftly went through the documents I had accumulated and opened the bank account.