You can find EIN number for a business in several ways. For an EIN of a publicly traded company, you can search the EDGAR database of the Securities and Exchange Commission. To find the EIN of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, you can use the IRS online search tool. If you need to confirm the EIN of your own company, you can call the IRS service and get the EIN over the phone.

What Is an EIN?

The IRS, or the Internal Revenue Service, assigns a unique nine-digit tax ID to business entities, which is known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). It's similar to a Social Security Number (SSN) except that it's assigned to businesses instead of individuals.

Almost all businesses and nonprofit organizations must obtain an EIN. This makes it a useful number for searching information about a particular business. You can either conduct a free EIN lookup or subscribe to a commercial database service. For example, in order to know your employer's EIN, you can just refer your W-2 form.

Some companies need not obtain an EIN. A sole proprietorship that does not have any employees can simply use an SSN of its owner instead of an EIN. Also note that unlike Social Security Numbers (SSN), an EIN can change.

If you conduct EIN lookup on a regular basis, it may be a better idea to subscribe to an online database service. Many commercial EIN providers offer some free searches to try out their services.

Locating the EIN of a Publicly Traded Company

You can find a filings page on the investor relations website of most publicly traded businesses. Alternatively, you can visit the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and check the documents filed by the company.

SEC maintains a searchable database known as EDGAR or the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system. It is a free service where you can search for forms and documents filed with the SEC by a listed company. Most of the documents submitted will have the EIN of the company mentioned on them. However, it may sometimes be difficult to sift through the documents in order to find the one with the EIN.

Finding an EIN of Businesses That Are Not in EDGAR

It may take you more efforts to locate the EIN of a company if it's not in the EDGAR database. For instance, a company might have mentioned its EIN on any document filed with the local government. Say, for instance, the company has applied for a business license. You can now refer to the company's application (if it's a public record) to see whether you can find its EIN information there.

Similarly, for a nonprofit, tax-exempt company, you can perform a free search on the IRS's specialized search tool for tax-exempt groups.

Locating a Lost EIN

If you misplaced or lost your EIN, you can recover it through any of the following ways:

  • Look for it in your previous tax returns, preferably the latest one.
  • Try to locate the IRS document that assigned you the EIN.
  • If you've provided the EIN to your bank or other agencies, they may have it on file.

How to Verify an EIN Through the IRS

Since EIN is treated confidentially by businesses, verifying an EIN can often be difficult without the authority of the company in question, with the only exception being tax-exempt organizations.

If you are the owner or an authorized representative of a business, you can call the IRS at 800-829-4933 to relocate your EIN. The IRS representative will ask you for some information for the purpose of confirming your identity. Once satisfied, he or she will confirm your EIN over the phone.

If you are not authorized to receive the information but still want to confirm an EIN that you have with you, you can ask the company to authorize the processing of tax information by filing Form 2848 with the IRS. You can then call the IRS with Form 2848 for EIN confirmation.

Finding EIN of Tax-Exempt Organizations

  • Information pertaining to tax-exempt organizations is freely available to the public.
  • The IRS has an online search utility that allows you to find information of any registered tax-exempt organization.
  • You just need to visit the IRS website and perform a search.
  • The search results will display EIN, as well as other data such as tax exemption status, tax-deductible donations, and the income of the organization.

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