How Do You Find Your EIN Number?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Sep 18, 2020 9:36:55 PM ET
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Your social security number acts as one of the most important and personal means of identifying yourself when dealing with businesses or the government. Similarly, a company’s employer identification number (EIN) is a unique number assigned to businesses by the government that’s used for tax purposes and more.

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Despite how important an EIN, it’s fairly common for business owners to lose track of theirs — after all, it’s mostly used only on government forms. Fortunately, there are many ways to find your EIN if you’ve misplaced it. Some are even likely to be found in your own place of business, but if all else fails, there are also outside organizations you can contact to find the number. One of these methods is sure to help you locate your number.

Check Old Documents

The easiest way to find your EIN is to look for any documents you might have that list the number. Accounting professionals recommend keeping copies of your business tax returns in case of an audit, but the returns can also be useful for finding your EIN. Keep an eye out for your tax identification number (TIN), which is the same as your federal tax identification number (FTIN), or your business identification number (BIN), since all of these numbers are frequently the same as your EIN.

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If you don’t have a copy of your tax returns handy, you could still be in luck if you have copies of any W-2 or 1099 forms used to report hours worked handy. On the former, your EIN can be found below the company name and address, while Box B should have it on a W-2. If you outsource this sort of recordkeeping to a third party, they can likely look up your EIN for you using one of these methods as well.

You can sometimes find your EIN on any duplicates of loan applications or permits you have handy, and the bank you use for managing your business’ finances may also have it — just be prepared to present proper identification when you ask for it. You also might be able to find the number on any electronic receipts or other messages sent from government agencies to your business.

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Search Government Databases

There are also a number of freely accessible government databases that you can use to locate an EIN — either one belonging to your company or someone else’s — under the right circumstances. If your company is publicly traded, you can search for your EIN through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system. Among other documents, you can find 10-K forms for every corporation that's publicly traded, and EINs must be included on them.

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If your organization is a nonprofit, you can find your EIN by doing a tax-exempt organization search on the IRS website. The EINs of nonprofits and publicly traded companies alike are available to the public as evidence of their compliance with nonprofit and corporate law respectively.

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You can also use the internet to search for relevant public records that would include your EIN. These can include liquor licenses, building permits and more. Your credit report may also list your EIN.

Contact the IRS Directly

The IRS is in charge of issuing EINs, and If you lose or misplace yours, you can contact them to find out what yours is. You can do this both by visiting an IRS location near you or by calling the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933. In either scenario, you’ll need to have sufficient documentation to prove that you are authorized to be told the number. Depending on your circumstances, authorized persons can include the sole proprietor who owns the company, a membership of the managing partnership, a corporate officer, trustee, estate executor and more.

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