How Do I Look Up a Tax ID for a Business?

To run a successful company, a business owner must take steps to ensure his or her business operates legally and professionally. For most people, one of those steps includes filling out an EIN application. If you are interested in finding a company’s employer identification number, you can do so in several ways.

Understanding the ID Format

The first step in finding a company’s identification number is understanding the federal tax ID format. Employer identification numbers have a total of nine digits. It uses the format of two numbers, a hyphen and then the final seven numbers (12-3456789).

Finding EINs for Nonprofits or Public Companies

If you need the tax identification number of a public company or a nonprofit organization, it should be relatively easy to find. Because nonprofits are tax-exempt, they must file documentation in a database that provides the tax identification number. Public companies also regularly include their identifying number on their public filings, which is saved in a search database known as EDGAR.

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Finding EINs for Private Companies

Just because a business filled out an LLC application doesn’t mean it needs to obtain an EIN. For this reason, you may not be able to locate a tax ID number for a private company. Private businesses aren’t required to disclose the information, so sometimes you won’t find one because the owner hasn’t provided it, and sometimes you won’t because there isn’t one. If you want to find the ID number of a private company, check its annual reports or any court documents that name the company.

Finding Your Own EIN

Sometimes, people file for EINs for their own business but forget or lose the number over time. If you’ve lost your EIN, you can find it by contacting the EIN department and providing the relevant information to look it up. Keep in mind that the person who applied will need to make the phone call.

Now that you understand the tax ID format and have seen a tax ID number example, you’ll know what to expect when you apply (or in some cases, re-apply) for your own federal tax identification number. Fill out our form on GovDocFiling to get started.