How to find an EIN number

How to find an EIN number

One of the most important numbers for a business owner to know besides their social security number is their business’ employer identification number (EIN).

But unlike social security numbers, EINs aren’t something that most people can recall off the top of their heads. This is sometimes a problem because EINs are required on a variety of different business documents from tax returns to bank account applications.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to find business EIN numbers both for your own business and for other companies in case you ever need to locate a taxpayer identification number..

How to find EIN numbers: What you need to know

The first thing to ask when trying to locate EIN numbers is whether or not the business in question even has an EIN. To determine this, you’ll need to know whether the business meets certain standards that require them to get an EIN.  

According to the IRS, these standards are that a business:

  • Has employees
  • Is a corporation or a partnership
  • Files tax returns for Employment; Excise; or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
  • Withholds business taxes on income paid to non-resident aliens
  • Has a tax-deferred pension plan
  • Is involved with any of the following types of organizations:
  • Trusts
  • IRAs
  • Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
  • Estates
  • Real estate mortgage investment conduits
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Farmers’ cooperatives
  • Plan administrators

A sole proprietorship that doesn’t meet the above standards may still choose to get an EIN in order to interact with other businesses or set up business accounts.

Locating your own EIN

If you have lost track of your business’ EIN, the good news is that there are a number of ways that you can locate it.

In order to find your EIN, the IRS recommends taking the following measures:

  • Check Your IRS Notice – When you apply for an EIN for your business, the IRS automatically sends out a notice both to confirm your application and to confirm your receipt of an EIN. Your EIN Number can be found on either of these two notices.
  • Review Old Applications – If you used your company’s EIN in order to apply for a business bank account or a federal license, you can review your EIN application or reach out to the bank or agency involved in order to retrieve your EIN.
  • Find Previous Tax Returns – If you have already filed a tax return under this business, you can pull them up to find your EIN number, your federal tax ID number.
  • Contact the IRS – If all else fails and you still cannot find your business’ EIN, you can always reach out to the IRS’s Business & Specialty Tax Line, where an assistor can help track down your EIN.

While most of the time, you will only need to know your own business’ EIN, there are certain occasions when you may need to look up another business’ EIN in order to verify their information.

Locating another business’ EIN

Since finding another business’s EIN isn’t as common, the process of finding it is less straightforward. But there are still measures you can take to track down another company’s EIN:

  • Ask Someone at the Company – The most direct way of finding a company’s EIN number is to contact someone at the company, preferably someone who works on payroll, as they’ll likely know their company’s EIN.
  • Use an Online Database – If for whatever reason you can’t ask someone at the company, there are also a number of online databases that can help you find a company’s EIN with an EIN lookup.
  • SEC: If the company you’re researching is publicly traded, you can use the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in order to locate their EIN.
  • Melissa: Melissa.com works much in the same way as the SEC but is specifically used when researching the EIN for nonprofit organizations.
  • EIN Database: If the company you are researching isn’t publicly traded or a nonprofit there are some databases online that will allow you to lookup an EIN, or your tax identification number, for a fee.
  • Credit Report: Using a credit bureau database, you can find many businesses’ credit reports, which will include the company’s EIN number.

One thing to be careful about when looking up a company’s EIN number using a third-party database not affiliated with the IRS website is to make sure that the number you find is legitimate.

How to Verify if a Business’ EIN Number is Legitimate

While you can only speak with the IRS directly to confirm the legitimacy of your own business’ EIN, there are certain steps you can take in order to check the legitimacy of another business tax ID number.

First, you can verify that the taxpayer identification number you find is the correct number of digits. Just like a social security number (SSN), your company’s EIN should be exactly nine digits long.

Secondly, the IRS has a list of valid EIN number prefixes. You can compare the business tax ID you find against this list to make sure that it matches up with one of the verified number prefixes.

Protect You and Your Business with GOV+

GOV+ helps protect individuals and their businesses by providing a variety of informative resources on everything from fraud protection to social security insurance.

We also help simplify the process of getting a new government ID, or new EIN, by helping you complete your entire application from the comfort of your own home using our intelligent technology platform. You can apply for an EIN number via GOV+.

We’ll send you all the documents that you need as well as detailed instructions for filling them out, and all you have to do is send them back in the mail with your information.

You can also find answers to questions like “how to apply for an EIN”, “is TIN the same as EIN” and “what is an EIN number used for” on the GOV+ website as well.

Visit GOV+ today to learn more about how easy and convenient getting an EIN online can be!

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