The Social Security Administration assigns individual identification numbers to every person called social security numbers, and the IRS assigns individual identification numbers to every business called employer identification numbers (EIN). For companies that have no employees, these numbers are referred to as federal tax identification numbers, but the acronym EIN is still used. There are several different ways to look up a company’s EIN, even if that company is a privately owned organization.
If you work for the company you are researching, or you know someone who does work for that company, then you can get the company’s EIN off of any paycheck stub. Public and private companies are both required to display their EIN on the paycheck stubs of full and part-time employees.
Companies that sell stock traded on the public exchange have to file paperwork each year with the Securities and Exchange Commission that requires each company’s EIN. You can go to the SEC website and request the public filing information for a company and get the EIN from that data. Your other option is to contact the company and request a copy of its annual report, which will also have the company’s EIN published in it.
Legal Information Websites
Private companies are not required to release or publish their EIN for any reason. However, certain legal databases such as LexisNexis and Westlaw could be used to find the EIN of a private company. You can also go to the reference section of your local public library and request that the librarian use the business directories on-hand to look up the EIN of any public or private company.
The rules for non-profits are a little different than companies. Since non-profits have different tax statuses, their EIN is available to the public at all times. Unlike a private company that does not have to reveal its EIN, a non-profit cannot avoid having its EIN available to the public. All you need to do to find the EIN of a non-profit is to use the <a href=”https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organizations-select-check”>right online IRS form</a> and look up the company by its name.
Since revealing an EIN is not really considered a big deal by any company, it is not uncommon for companies to publish their EIN on their corporate websites. If a company has an investor section to its corporate website, then you can usually go to that section to find the EIN.
An EIN is the number used by the IRS to identify a business. It can be applied to incorporated business and to sole proprietor businesses as well. There are plenty of ways to look up a business by its EIN number, and all of those methods can be used for free.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!