You may now apply for EIN
with the IRS online!
No need to file a Form SS-4! On their site the IRS asks you the questions and you give the answers. After all validations are done IRS will provide you with your EIN immediately upon completion. You can then download, save, and print your EIN confirmation notice.
Purpose of an Employer Identification Number
Employer Identification Numbers are issued for the purpose of tax administration and are not intended for participation in any other activities. You have to have an EIN number in order to open a bank account for your business or hire employees to work for your business.