How to Find Your EIN Number? (Step by Step Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
Methodology
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As a business owner, you may need your LLC's Employer Identification Number (EIN) to open a bank account, apply for loans, or hire employees. If you don't know your company's EIN, there are certain ways that you can recover the information.

As a mergers and acquisitions specialist and a Master's degree holder in tax law, several businesses and entrepreneurs seek my guidance when forming an LLC and applying for an EIN.

Together with our team of lawyers, we'll share our insights on the ways you could retrieve your company's EIN.

Quick Summary:

  • To find your EIN, you can check your confirmation letter, review previous business documents, and contact the IRS.
  • You can determine another company's EIN by contacting the business entity, reviewing credit reports, searching online, and looking into the public record.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were a total of 450,078 EIN applications in January 2024.
  • When applying for an EIN, I always do it online since the application is immediately processed and approved.


What is an EIN?

Writing a formal document

An EIN is a 9-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify a business entity. Once you obtain an EIN, the IRS mandates that you file your business, state, and federal taxes.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were a total of 450,078 EIN applications in January 2024, indicating the significant number of new businesses that need to adhere to tax regulations annually [1].

Other than tax purposes, I inform business owners that an EIN is necessary to:

  • Obtain business licenses.
  • Apply for business financing, like business loans and business credit cards.
  • Open a business bank account.
  • Hire employees.

"Businesses with employees must have an EIN to conduct business in any state. Non-employers who run a partnership or corporation must also obtain one."
- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

How to Find Your Company's EIN?

Using a laptop to find my EIN number

To find your company's EIN, check the confirmation letter, review business documents, and contact the IRS.

1. Check EIN Confirmation Letter

An EIN confirmation letter is an original document issued by the IRS when you first apply for an EIN. The letter displays your tax ID number and other identifying details for your business.

Here's where I usually look:

  • If you applied online, the IRS issued your confirmation letter immediately after you submitted your application. You can find the letter in your emails or any other digital receipts.
  • If you had filed by mail, you would have received your letter by mail. Look back through your paper files from where you saved them for future reference.
  • If you filed a fax, you would have received your confirmation by fax.

2. Review Business Tax Documents

Reviewing business tax documents using a calculator

An Employer Identification Number appears on all your business tax documents. You can find your EIN in the top-right corner of your business tax return.

In 2021, reflecting a significant surge in entrepreneurship, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported a record-breaking 5.4 million new business applications [2].

This trend underscores the growing number of individuals seeking to establish their own businesses, many of whom require EINs for tax and operational purposes.

If you open your return document and find that the number has been blocked by asterisks for security reasons, contact the IRS or your accountant.

Additionally, if you use tax software to file your returns, the software will save your number every year you file. Visit the software business account dashboard to retrieve.

3. Check Other Business Documents

Checking business documents

Here are other business documents you can check: 

  • LLC business bank account statements
  • Your business credit report
  • Any tax notices from the IRS
  • Old business loan applications
  • Payroll paperwork (such as the 1099 forms issued to independent contractors)

I advise clients to contact their company's bank since they will have the EIN on record.

4. Contact the IRS

Dialing the telephone to contact the IRS

As noted on the IRS webpage, you can reach the Business and Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 from Monday through Friday between 7 am and 7 pm [3].

After obtaining the EIN, I always remind business owners to keep the information on file so they won't have to repeat the process.

4 Ways to Find Another Company's EIN

Organizing files in an envelope

To find another company's EIN, you can contact the business, check their credit report, look for it online, or search the public record.

1. Contact the Company

An EIN is sensitive information about a company. Because of this, a company may be reluctant to reveal such information over the phone. They might want to prove your identity and know why you need the information. 

You can try contacting the company's accounting department to submit a request, though it's unlikely that the business will be willing to share such information.

2. Check Business Credit Report

Most businesses' credit reports have EINs, which are easily available at credit bureaus.

When clients plan to invest in or form a partnership with a business entity, I advise them to check the company's credit report. You'll gain insight into how the business manages its debt, if they meet its obligations, and whether they're struggling with managing it.

Any business registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must submit a tax ID number in their paperwork. The SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system will have the company's EIN on file, along with other information [4].

This system is open to the public and free to use. However, we spent some time combing through all the documents on file to find the EIN.

4. Search Public Record

You can check the public record if the company is not registered with the SEC system. The public record can be searched through the local county or city files.

Since most businesses apply for state and local licenses and permits, the EIN must be listed in the record.

If you have an LLC, you should read our article and determine if you need an EIN for an LLC.

FAQs

Can I Search for an EIN on the IRS's Website?

You cannot search for an EIN on the IRS’s website, since the agency does not provide a database on their site.

Is an EIN Number Free?

An EIN number is free. You can apply for an EIN by completing Form SS-4 from the IRS website.

References: 

  1. https://www.census.gov/econ/bfs/pdf/bfs_current.pdf
  2. https://www.uschamber.com/small-business/state-of-small-business-now
  3. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/telephone-assistance-contacts-for-business-customers
  4. https://www.sec.gov/edgar/about

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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