How to Look Up an EIN

Man concentrating on an article about looking up an EIN.

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit identification number that is specific to your business. There are various ways to look up an EIN if you misplace or lose it. Once the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has assigned an EIN to your business, it remains on file at the office of the IRS.

All business EINs are public information. Learn about the different ways you can search and find yours. If you don’t have an EIN, you can get one for free through the EIN Assistant at the IRS website.


How to Get an Existing EIN by Phone

You can call the IRS directly to retrieve your EIN Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Standard Eastern Time. The phone number for the Business & Specialty Tax Line is 800-829-4933. Keep in mind that Mondays are the busiest days to call the IRS.

The Managing Member should call to request the EIN and will be expected to provide his or her Social Security number. An IRS representative will ask you some qualifying questions to confirm business ownership or to verify that you’re authorized to be provided with the EIN. Once business ownership or authority to act on behalf of the Managing Member has been established, you can request the IRS EIN Department to send you a copy of the EIN Letter by fax.

Finding an EIN through Business Documents

You can search for an EIN if your business has previously filed taxes with the state. Your EIN should be available in your tax return records.

 An EIN is required to file taxes if your business is a:

  • Multi-member LLC
  • Partnership with employees
  • Corporation
  • Single-member LLC with employees
  • Sole Proprietorship with employees

Other reasons you may have an EIN to file taxes include if you’re a/n:

  • Trustee of a trust
  • Executor of an estate

If you have an accountant, you can call him or her to search through your tax documents to find your EIN.

You can also review your business’s bank account documents where you will be able to get your EIN from the original paperwork. Note that an EIN is required when you open a company bank account, so you can even go to your local bank and ask a representative to assist you in finding your EIN.

How to Get an Existing EIN Online

You can search the original computer-generated confirmation that was issued by the IRS when your EIN was initially assigned to your company.

The Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR online Forms and Filings database offers another search tool for publicly held companies. If you know the company you’re looking for is registered under the SEC, you can search for an EIN. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Filing’s page
  2. Search for company
  3. Click on SEC filing documents
  4. Find the EIN on the first page
  5. The Tax ID number is under “IRS No”

Get a Free EIN

The quickest and simplest way to get a free EIN is to apply for one through the EIN Assistant on the IRS website.

You can also apply for an EIN by fax or mail by completing Form SS-4. If you are submitting by fax, send EIN application to fax number (855) 641-6935. If applying by mail, submit to Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999.

Here is some helpful information to guide you in requesting your EIN through the IRS website:

  • The IRS’s hours of operation for obtaining your EIN are Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m
  • Only United States and U.S. Territories-based businesses are eligible
  • You must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN,EIN)
  • The entity owner or responsible party may only apply once per day
  • Your application must be filled out in one session and cannot be saved
  • The session will time-out after 15 minutes if not in use
  • You will immediately get an EIN after the form is completed
  • Applications cannot be processed if an EIN was previously obtained online

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I have a sole proprietorship with a DBA (doing business as or fictitious name). Do I Need an EIN?

Having a DBA doesn’t impact whether or not you are required to have an EIN for your Sole Proprietorship. The same rules apply to a sole proprietorship with a DBA as apply to a sole proprietorship without a DBA.

Per the IRS, “A sole proprietor without employees and who doesn’t file any excise or pension plan tax returns doesn’t need an EIN.” Once you hire employees or file excise or pension plan tax returns, you will immediately require an EIN.

How Many EINs Can a Sole Proprietor Have?

A sole proprietor can only be issued on EIN. Other business entities can have an unlimited number of EINs.

1. Do I need an EIN if I’m self-employed?

You don’t need an EIN if you’re self-employed; you can simply use your Social Security number. However, some people who are self-employed choose to apply for an EIN instead of using their Social Security number to reduce the risk of identity theft; it’s less likely for someone to break into your accounts when you keep business finances and personal finances separate.

2. Is there a difference between an EIN and a TIN?

No, there is not a difference between an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Both refer to the nine-digit number issued by the IRS for your business.

3. Is there a difference between an EIN and a FEIN?

No, there is not a difference between an EIN and a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). A FEIN can also be referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number.

4. How do I look up my EIN?

It is very easy to look up your EIN, and there are several ways you can do so. First, the IRS will typically quickly email or send a physical letter confirming your EIN application. You can also check business documents such as tax returns to find your EIN printed there.

5. How do I look up another business’s EIN?

You can look up another business’s EIN by searching for the company on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) EDGAR online Forms and Filings database.

6. How do I recover my EIN if I forget or lose it?

If you still aren’t able to find your EIN by checking for a confirmation email or letter, or by identifying it on your business documents, you can simply call the IRS EIN Department at 1-800-829-4933 to speak with one of their representatives. Their hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

7. What is the difference between an EIN and a DUNS number?

An EIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to keep track of a business’s tax reporting. The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) is a nine-digit number issued by Dun & Bradstreet, a business analytics company. A DUNS number helps businesses create and identify their credit reports.

 

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