Does a Farmers’ Cooperative need a Tax ID (EIN)?
A farmers’ cooperative is a unique form of agricultural group, designed to keep farmers safer and more stable through cooperation. Because a farmers’ cooperative means that many distinct entities and individuals are required to work together, it has to be formed as an official business entity. Most farmers’ cooperatives are non-profit organizations, which only serve to enrich the farmers involved.
A farmers’ cooperative will need an EIN or Tax ID, even if they don’t hire employees, and even if they are non-exempt from paying taxes. The EIN will serve multiple purposes: it will let them hire employees if they want, it will help them open a business bank account to collect dues, and it will let them get licenses and permits in the event that they want to hold markets or seminars. Cooperatives should acquire their EIN when they are forced formed; it only takes an hour or so to receive an EIN if filed for online.