An employer identification number, also known as a federal tax ID number, is a 9-digit sequence of numbers used to identify a business for tax and banking purposes. A company's EIN gets used in the same manner as a Social Security number gets used to identify an individual. Every business with employees, regardless of the company's structure, must obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service.
If you do not have your employer's EIN, locate your W-2 statement. A W-2 statement exists as a wage statement issued by an employer to indicate the amount of money earned by an employee within a given year. A W-2 has information about the employer such as the name and address of the company, as well as the company's EIN. If you have worked for the same employer for a number of years, you may be able to find your employer's EIN on a previous tax return. Also, you may find your employer's EIN on your pay stub.
If you work for a corporation or a limited liability company, you may find the company's EIN by viewing the company's annual report. You cannot locate a company's EIN using this method if you work for a sole proprietor or a partnership, since sole proprietors and partnerships do not have to file annual reports with the state where the company operates. An employer's EIN should be located on the front or back of the annual report.
You can call your employer's payroll or human resources department to find the company's EIN. If you decide to use this method to find an employer's EIN, you will be asked to verify your employment with the company. To verify employment with a company, you must supply information such as your name, address, Social Security number and your position. Depending on the employer, you may be able to locate an EIN on the company's website. The EIN of a publicly traded company appears in documents filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The business website of many publicly traded companies will contain documents filed with the SEC.
You may obtain an employer's EIN online by conducting a free search using the SEC EDGAR database. The EDGAR database has filings from every company that trades its stock publicly on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. As a last resort, you can obtain an employer's EIN by conducting a paid online search. Many third-party companies, such as Dun & Bradstreet and LexisNexis, have EIN listings for a large number of businesses throughout the country.