Small business people are wise to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) when they start their ventures. It is a nine-digit number that takes the place of the social security number of the business owner. It is a unique number that officially identifies the business.
Nowadays many banks require an EIN for a business to open a bank account. A business EIN is a good way to build commercial credit. And, with the threat of identity theft, it may be a good idea for small business owners to use an EIN rather than their social security number.
An employer tax identification number can be obtained by using the “Apply for an EIN” tool at www.IRS.gov.
To find the EIN of a particular company, there are a few ways to do it quickly:
- For public companies you can check their SEC filings. These filings may be found through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database.
- For non-profit organizations you may check their Form 990. Check Guide Star to access the database where you can find many Form 990s listed.
- Private companies may post their EIN on the company website or company invoice. Check the website of KnowX , a commercial vendor that allows you to search for EINs for a fee.