How to Search for a Tax ID for a Business

by Cheryl Torrie; Updated September 26, 2017

Businesses that operate in the U.S. either apply for and are issued a federal employers tax identification number or use the Social Security number of the sole proprietor as their tax ID number. There are a several easy and free ways to search for the tax ID that a business is operating with.

SEC search

Step 1

Use the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR database to locate publicly traded companies' tax ID numbers by accessing their website (see Resources).

Step 2

Complete as much information regarding the company as you know before hitting the Find Companies button.

Step 3

Locate the tax ID number that will be listed as the IRS number on the individual filings.

Guidestar search

Step 1

Use the Guidestar program to locate a nonprofit organization's tax ID number by accessing their website (see Resources).

Step 2

Register as a user on the website by clicking the register button on that page, completing the next page and agreeing to the user agreement.

Step 3

Obtain the confirmation email in your inbox; click the link in that email to activate your account, which will return you to the Guidestar homepage.

Step 4

Locate the organization by typing as much information as you know about the organization into the search box before hitting the Start Your Search Button.

Step 5

Click on their name, after the company is located, then click on the form number 990 tab, on which you will find the tax ID number.


  • If you have misplaced your own business's tax ID you can call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax line at (800) 829-4933 to obtain it. There are also fee-based options for obtaining a business's tax ID like Westlaw's BUS-TRACK and/or FEIN-ALL programs and Lexis' D&B/FEIN Search program. If you are looking for the tax ID so that you can file a 1099 (or other information return) for the company, have the company complete a form W-9 and submit it to you.

About the Author

Based in Covington, Tenn., Cheryl Torrie has been writing how-to articles since 2008. Her articles appear on eHow. Torrie received a certificate in travel and tourism from South Eastern Academy and is enrolled in a computer information systems program at Tennessee Technology Center at Covington.

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