Employers are required for tax purposes to have a registration or identification number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. Known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), the format of this number is two digits with a dash followed by seven more digits. Nonprofit organizations can be found using the Guidestar website and publicly traded companies can be found through the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information for privately held corporations or companies can be found using the KnowX web site.

Nonprofit Organizations

Search for nonprofit organizations by going to the Guidestar website. Enter a company name or the city and state where the nonprofit company is located. Click the “Start Your Search” button to continue. You will then see a page of search results. Scroll down the list to find the company for which you are searching. Click the link for the company name in the "Organization Name" column. This will display a report for the organization.

Click the tab for “Forms 990 & Docs” to find the EIN, or Employer Identification Number.

Public Companies

Go to the Securities and Exchange Commission's website. Click on the “Search for Company Filings” link. Click the first link (company or fund name) under the “You can search information collected by the SEC several ways” section. Enter the name of the company into the "Company Name" text field. Click the “Find Companies” button to continue.

Click the "Document" button for one of the documents in the list below. Look at the bottom of the next page and find the "IRS No." (number). This is the Employer Identification Number.

Private Companies

Go to the KnowX web site at www.knowx.com. Enter the name of a private company or a person in the text box for "Name." If you are entering a person, type their first and last names.

Select a state to search from the the drop-down selection. If the business operates in multiple states, leave the multi-state option selected. The multi-state option will search all available jurisdictions in the database.

Click the "Search" button to see a list of results. There will be 25 results listed per page if there is more than one business with the same name.

Click on a link for a company in the "Name" column to view an individual record.


EINFinder is another source that can be used to search for an Employer Identification Number, but a subscription is required.

A payment or fee is required to view the full financial details for a private company using the KnowX web site.


You will need to register on the Guidestar web site to view any of the financial or Form 990 information for a company.