How to Find Your Employer Identification Number

by Emily Beach ; Updated June 13, 2017
An EIN acts as a social security number for businesses.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, issues employer identification numbers to all corporations and other businesses that hire employees. The IRS and other government organizations use this number to identify the business and its owners for tax purposes. Many banks and financial institutions also require businesses to have an employer identification number, or EIN, to set up a new bank account. If you've lost track of your EIN or aren't sure whether you even have one, search your business records or contact the IRS for assistance.

Find Your Existing EIN

Step 1

Search your business files to find your receipt from the IRS. The IRS issues a receipt for every business that applies for an EIN. This receipt shows basic business information as well as your EIN.

Step 2

Call your bank or credit union and ask for assistance with finding your EIN. Banks use your EIN to identify your business and report transactions to the IRS as needed. Most banks can provide you with your EIN if you are an owner or other authorized person related to the business.

Step 3

Check your business license. Most federal, state and local business or trade licenses will include your EIN.

Step 4

Call the IRS and request assistance with finding your EIN. Contact the IRS Business and Special Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The representative will ask you a few questions to verify your identity, then provide the EIN to you over the phone. If you aren't authorized to receive this number, the IRS will mail the number to the person listed on the original EIN application.

Obtain a New EIN

Step 1

Visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html.

Step 2

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Apply Online Now."

Step 3

Follow the instructions within the interactive application. Submit your application when you're finished.

Step 4

Wait a few minutes until the website displays your receipt page, which includes your new EIN. Print this page and keep it on file for future reference.

Items you will need

  • Business files
  • Business license
  • Bank statements
  • Phone
  • Printer

Tips

  • If the IRS has already issued an EIN to your business, you need to continue using this number unless your business changes owners or structures. The IRS will not issue you a new number unless your business undergoes a major change. In most cases, you are required to obtain a new EIN after a structural or ownership change.

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

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