How to Find a Merchant with an ID Number

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Federal Identification Numbers (also known as Employee Identification Numbers) are assigned to businesses by the IRS for tax purposes. Because these numbers are public records, they are also a convenient way for the public (consumers, journalists, members of the community) to locate businesses and monitor their activities. Finding the FIN number for a business is a relatively easy process.

Determine what kind of business you are investigating. It makes a difference whether it is a not-for-profit, a publicly traded company or a sole proprietorship, as these are often listed in separate databases. One helpful fee for service database is freeerisa.com (see “Resources"). The Federal Securities and Exchange Commission also provides access to securities filings through its EDGAR system.

Narrow the business by city and state. Once you know the location, you can contact the city Chamber of Commerce or use a pay service such as Lexis-Nexus.

Speak to a company representative directly. Many businesses will provide this information as part of their customer service and public relations policies.

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