How to Find Your EIN Number? (Step by Step Guide)
As a new business owner, you will be preoccupied with managing your business to the point that you might forget, lose or misplace your Employer Identification Number (EIN).
To help you retrieve it, we worked with our business experts with decades of expertise in the industry and curated this guide. In this guide, we'll look at an EIN and the places you'll need to look to find it.
- To find your EIN, you can check your confirmation letter from the IRS and the previous year's tax returns.
- To find another company's EIN, you can ask the company, review credit reports, use online databases, or get help from third-party services.
- To get an EIN, you must fill out Form SS-4 from the IRS with accurate information about your business.
What is an EIN?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a 9-digit number issued to identify a business entity. An EIN falls under the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Additionally, an EIN is referred to as a Federal tax ID number.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for issuing an EIN. Once you obtain an EIN, the IRS mandates you to file your business state and federal taxes.
Other than tax purposes, an EIN helps you perform the following actions:
- Obtain business licenses.
- Apply for business financing, like business loans and business credit cards.
- Open a business bank account.
- Issue Form 1099s to independent contractors.
"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."
- U.S. Small Business Administration
How to Find Your EIN Number?
To find your EIN Number, you can look for it online, on business documents, or by calling the IRS.
1. Check EIN Confirmation Letter
The best way to find an EIN is to check your confirmation letter from the Internal Revenue Service. An EIN confirmation letter is an original document issued by the IRS when you first apply for an EIN. The letter displays your business tax ID number and other identifying details for your business.
Here's where you need to 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 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 tax documents is another easy way to find your business's EIN. An Employer Identification Number appears on all your business tax documents.
You can find your federal tax identification number on the top right corner of your business tax return.
If you open your return document and find that the number has been blocked by asterisks for security reasons, contact your accountant and ask for the number from them.
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
Here are other business documents you can check:
- Business license or permit.
- 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).
Note that your EIN is not displayed anywhere on your business formation paperwork, such as articles of organization or incorporation.
These legal documents are meant to formalize your business setup but don't contain a business tax ID.
4. Contact the IRS
The IRS can also help you find your EIN. You can reach the Business and Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 from Monday through Friday from 7 am Eastern to 7 pm Local time . Note that it takes a while to get connected to a representative.
Before setting up contact, the IRS must prove your identity and ties to the business. For example, you'll need to prove that you are a corporate officer, partner, or sole proprietor. The IRS will ask questions that verify your identity.
The confirmation process is simple yet important since you wouldn't want the IRS to disclose your business tax ID number to anyone.
After you obtain your business EIN, we recommend keeping it in a safe, accessible place so you won't have to repeat the process.
4 Ways to Find Another Company's EIN
To find another company's EIN, you'll first need a legitimate business reason to want it.
Below are four ways you can find its EIN.
1. Contact the Company
An EIN is sensitive information of 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.
To start, 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. Credit reports are easily available on credit bureaus. With a 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.
3. Do an Online Search
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 .
This system is open to the public and free to use. But you'll spend 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 find an answer if you need an EIN for an LLC.
Can I Search for an EIN on the IRS's Website?
No, you cannot search for an EIN on the IRS’s website. The IRS does not provide a database to search your EIN, but you can check your confirmation letter, tax documents or contact the IRS.
Is an EIN Number Free?
Yes, an EIN number is free. You can obtain an EIN by completing Form SS-4 from the IRS website for free.
Can I Look Up a Company's EIN?
Yes, you can look up a company's EIN. You can opt to contact the company, use an online database, check credit reports, or get help from a third party at a fee.
Do You Need Help Getting an EIN?
An EIN is a critical document required to file business tax returns, open a business bank account, obtain business licenses, and apply for business loans.
Furthermore, an EIN is mandatory for all business entities with employees.
The IRS will reject an EIN application based on error; therefore, providing accurate information is vital. To help you with this, we reviewed the top LLC services and compiled a list of the top LLC formation services you can use.
By selecting one of the top-rated LLC services from our list, you can have peace of mind knowing that your EIN application will be handled professionally and in accordance with IRS requirements.