Question: Incorporate of Obtain EIN first?

Is it best to incorporate first or obtain an EIN first? The tool kit says EIN, but when I spoke with a nearby PTO, they said to incorporate first. Our school is in Pennsylvania.

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Advice from PTO Today

lharac writes:
Hi, Melissa -- in actual truth, as long as you're doing it all in a timely manner it doesn't make a big difference which one you do first.

The benefit of getting the EIN first is that you can set up your bank account and pay the incorporation fee from that account (rather than paying it from someone's personal account and then reimbursing them for that fee). In some states, those fees must be paid from an organizational account rather than a personal one; if Pennsylvania is one of those, that would make getting the EIN the first step for sure.

The benefit of incorporating first is that you'll absolutely know what type of organization you will be, which is required when applying for your EIN. (And the fees for incorporation are usually nominal.) It also reduces some pressure because you will have all your organizational documents in order (bylaws, articles of incorporation, etc.) before you get the EIN and become a legal business entity in the eyes of the IRS.

Whichever way you choose to go, congrats for taking this step, and let us know how it goes!

Lani @ PTO Today

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