Does using my Federal TIN or EIN to set up business accounts link me personally to those transactions?

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Does using my Federal TIN or EIN to set up business accounts link me personally to those transactions?

If I am a business owner (with a C-corp) and I set up a business account with my vendors and suppliers using only my Federal TINor EIN, is that number linked to me personally? Meaning if someone tried to file a suit against my business for a transaction gone wrong will I be personally liable?Although that number is not my SSN, I still have to input my social and personal information to apply for the TIN/EIN. Does it link me personally to my business transactions?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Business Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue is not whether people can identify that you are the business owner--that has no bearing on it. If you have a c-corporation (or, for that matter, s-corp or limited liability company) and it is the corporation that signs the contracts, takes out the loans, etc., then you are not personally liable for them. The whole point of a corporation or LLC is to limit owner liability; as long as the debt or obligation is incurred by the company and not you in your personal capacity, you will not be responsible. The protection is not absolute--certain tax or wage and hour (if you don't pay employees right) debts will attach to you personally; if you personally do something tortious, even in the course of working for your company, you can be personally sued (e.g. if you are driving a company car and run into someone, you could be liable as driver); and if you personally guaranty a loan or debt, that guaranty is enforceable. However, those are the exceptions; as a general matter, conducting busines through your corporation will insulate you from personal liability.


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