How Can I Search for my EIN on the Internet?

How Do I Find My EIN Online? Employer Identification Number

EIN - An Employer Identification Number, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number the Internal Revenue Service issues to entities, both with and without employees, within the U.S. This number serves as a form of identification for businesses to the IRS.

Businesses need an EIN for various purposes, including applying for state business licenses, opening business bank accounts, obtaining business financing, and filing tax returns.

It's essential to record your EIN at the time of issuance and keep it in a secure location. However, if you need help finding it, don't worry; retrieving your EIN can be free of cost, although seeing it online might have its challenges. Continue reading to discover methods for locating, modifying, or acquiring an EIN.

Do you require an EIN?

Consider applying for an EIN under any of the following circumstances:

  • Your business is structured as a partnership or corporation.
  • You employ staff.
  • Your business participates in a Keogh plan.
  • You deduct taxes from income paid to non-resident aliens.
  • Your business needs to file specific tax returns, such as those for alcohol, employment, excise, firearms, or tobacco.

Additionally, an EIN is necessary for businesses in certain sectors or those engaging with entities in these sectors, including estates, plan administrators, farmers' cooperatives, non-profit organisations, real estate mortgage investment conduits, and some trusts.

Securing an EIN offers numerous advantages, such as enabling your enterprise to open bank accounts, secure loans, obtain necessary licenses or permits, and maintain privacy by substituting your Social Security number with an EIN on business documents.

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Finding Your EIN: Effective Strategies

If you've lost the IRS notice that came with your EIN application, there needs to be an online EIN or tax ID search tool for instant retrieval. But you can still locate your EIN by trying the following methods.

Examine Business Records: Look through your business paperwork. Your EIN might be on documents such as your formation articles or loan applications. It could also be noted on other paperwork you have. Checking past business tax returns is another reliable way to find your EIN.

Refer to Your EIN Confirmation: Go back to the IRS-generated notice you received after applying for your EIN. If you applied online, you should have received a confirmation at the end of the application process, which you could print or save. The IRS mails out an EIN assignment notice for applications submitted via a third party. If you can't find this notice, search your records to see if you've saved or printed this notice for your records.

Contact the IRS Directly: The IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line is available from Monday to Friday, 7 am - 7 pm local time. By calling 1-800-829-4933 and providing specific details about your business to an assistant, you can retrieve your EIN. Be prepared, though, as you may need to wait on hold.

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Searching for Another Business's EIN

Locating the EIN of another business requires some effort. Here are several strategies you can employ.

Reach Out to the Company: One approach is to contact the company directly and ask for its EIN. They might be hesitant to share this information, but requesting to speak with someone in the accounting or payroll department could prove fruitful.

Obtain the Company's Credit Report: Business credit reports often list the EIN. You can access these reports through major business credit reporting agencies. This method also provides insights into the company's financial health, including their credit history and payment habits.

Conduct an Online Search: For publicly traded companies, check the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) website for their latest 10-K or 10-Q filings, which usually include the EIN. For non-profits, the IRS's online database is the right place to look.

Seek Assistance: If you need help finding the EIN on your own, online services offer EIN lookup for a fee. Alternatively, consider enlisting a professional service to conduct the search for you.

Modifying or Closing an EIN Account with the IRS

Once the IRS assigns an EIN to your business, it becomes a permanent identifier for that entity and cannot be cancelled. If you need to close your business account associated with the EIN, you must inform the IRS via mail. 

In your letter, include:

  • Your business's legal name.
  • EIN.
  • The business address.
  • The specific reason for closing the account.

Attaching a copy of the IRS notice issued when your EIN was assigned initially can be beneficial.

Mail your request to either:

  • Internal Revenue Service, MS 6055, Kansas City, MO 64108
  • Internal Revenue Service, MS 6273, Ogden, UT 84201

For exempt organisations wishing to cancel their accounts, send your request to:

  • Mail: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EO Entity, Mail Stop 6273, Ogden, UT 84201
  • Fax: 855-214-7520

If you need to change your business's EIN, for instance, due to changes in ownership or business structure, you will need to apply for a new EIN.

Obtaining an EIN: Your Guide

Securing an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is straightforward and accessible, whether you apply online, by mail, or by fax. It's important to note that the IRS limits EIN issuance to one per day, regardless of the application method.

Online Application

The fastest way to get your EIN is through the online application process, which is open from Monday - Friday, 7 am to 10 pm Eastern Time. The application must be completed in a single session, as you cannot save progress. Be aware that the session will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity, requiring you to start over. Once you submit your application, you'll receive your EIN instantly.

Mail Application

To apply via mail, fill out Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number) and send it to:

  • Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
  • For applicants outside the 50 states or the District of Columbia: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN International Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999

Expect a response by mail within four to five weeks.

Fax Application

Alternatively, you can fax Form SS-4 to one of the following numbers:

  • 855-641-6935
  • For applicants outside the 50 states or the District of Columbia: 855-215-1627 or 304-707-9471 (for faxes sent from outside the U.S.)

You should receive a response within one week if you include a return fax number. Omitting a return fax number may extend the wait time to two weeks.

Telephone Application

This method is exclusively for international applicants. Call 267-941-1099 between 6 am and 11 pm, Monday through Friday, to request an EIN if you're authorising someone else to apply on behalf of your company, complete and sign the "Third Party Designee" section of Form SS-4 and provide it to the IRS. Typically, the EIN is issued during the call. 


Can I search for an EIN on the IRS website?

The IRS website does not offer a direct tool for EIN searches. However, you need options. Your EIN can be found on the IRS notice issued upon its assignment, by contacting the IRS directly, or by checking your business paperwork.

Do small businesses need an EIN?

The IRS does not mandate that entities taxed as sole proprietors or single-member LLCs, considered disregarded entities, have an EIN. However, obtaining an EIN is common among small businesses to safeguard their Social Security number. It is helpful for various business activities, including securing business credit cards and filing client tax documents.

In Summary

Securing an EIN for your business offers numerous advantages. Acting as your business's equivalent to a Social Security number, an EIN enables you to apply for loans under your business name and handle other crucial operational activities. 

After acquiring an EIN, ensure you maintain digital or physical records of this vital identifier, as retrieving it online might only be possible if it is found.

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