How to Find Out a Company's Tax ID Number

by Alia Nikolakopulos; Updated September 26, 2017

A company’s tax ID, or EIN, is a number that identifies it for tax purposes. It’s similar to how a Social Security number identifies an individual. Each EIN is a unique nine-digit number and can only be assigned to one company. However, a company may have more than one EIN, especially if it operates multiple locations. There are a number of ways to find a company’s tax ID, most of which are free.

Employment Documents

As an employee of a company, you receive a W-2 or 1099 each year with information about your earnings. This document has the company’s ID on it. If you receive a W-2, it’s in Box B, and if you receive a 1099, the tax ID is in a box labeled “Payer’s Federal Tax Identification Number.” If your company has a retirement plan, its tax ID is printed on the summary plan documents. You receive these documents when your employer presents its plan to you, even if you choose not to enroll.

Company Contact

If you do not have employment documents, call the company and ask for its EIN. If you have a tax purpose for the number, such as needing to report income or wages earned, the company must provide it. However, if you don't have a tax reason for it, the company doesn't have to give it to you.

Public and Not-for-Profit Companies

Public companies are traded on the stock market and must keep certain information open to the public. These reports show a company's EIN. To find these reports, perform an Internet search with the company name and “10-K”. This brings up results for the company’s annual report information, which includes the tax ID. For non-profits, go to the IRS website and search for “EO Select Check”. In this tool, enter the name and location of the organization to obtain its EIN.

Subscription Services

If the company is not traded on the stock market, it is a private company. Private companies aren’t required to make annual reports public, so it may be a little more difficult to find the desired EIN through general Internet searches. However, subscription services allow you to run searches for private company EIN numbers. The EINs are recorded from company registrations and other documents filed by the business. Some sites that provide this service include EIN Finder and FEIN search.com

About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.