Q: I'm a jamaican citizen who recently attained an EIN over the phone from the IRS, I need an ssn number to operate my onli

I'm a jamaican citizen who recently attained an EIN over the phone from the IRS, I need an ssn number to operate my online business through serivces such as paypal, how can i attain one or is there another number i can use for this kid of process ?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I apologize, but as a foreign citizen, you are not eligible to obtain a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) solely for operating an online business. SSNs are typically issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain temporary residents who are authorized to work in the United States.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used for business purposes and does not serve as a substitute for an SSN. While you may be able to use your EIN for some business-related tasks, many services, like PayPal, require an SSN for identity verification purposes.

In your situation, you may want to consider the following options:

1. Seek alternative payment processors that do not require a U.S. SSN and can work with your Jamaican identification documents.

2. Establish a business entity in the United States and apply for an EIN specifically for that business. However, this process may require the involvement of a U.S. citizen or resident.

3. Partner with a U.S.-based individual or company that can handle the payment processing aspects of your online business.

It's essential to comply with all applicable laws and regulations when operating an online business. Consider consulting with a legal professional or business advisor familiar with international business operations for more specific guidance on your situation.

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