The Federal Tax Identification Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that is valid throughout the United States for banking, tax filing and other business purposes. According to the IRS, an EIN is used to identify a business. Before 2001, the two-digit EIN prefix indicated where the business was based. This changed in 2001, when the IRS centralized EIN assignment. Any of the agency's ten campuses can assign an EIN, and each campus has certain prefixes it can use. Discover how to find an employer's identification number or how to obtain your own in the steps below.

Things You Will Need
  • W-2

  • 1099 form

  • Payroll check

  • Legal company name

  • Internet access

There are many ways to get the federal identification number for a particular company. If you work for the company in question, simply check your paycheck or W-2 form to find the employer's federal identification number. It is required to be printed on your W-2.

For self-employed contractors, Form 1099 will contain the federal ID number.

Pay for access to a database of EINs. There are paid services that have compiled extensive databases of businesses for clients to search. You can search their database for business EINs. One such company is

If you know the state in which a company operates or the legal name of the company, you can contact the IRS to obtain the number. Learn more about Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) at the official IRS website. A link to the website is given below.

If you are a business owner and you would like to obtain an EIN for your business, you may apply for an Employer Identification Number online at the official IRS government website.