Q: I misplaced my EIN a long time ago and am unable to find it. What should I do?
Thank you to a client from Virginia for that great question! With all the documents that business owners need to keep track of, it makes sense that occasionally things will get misplaced. Fortunately, if you lose your EIN, there are a few ways to get it back. The first step is to search through your business documents and past tax returns. If that fails, you might need to call the IRS directly. Here are some ways you can find your lost EIN:
Option 1. Check Your Business Documents.
When you first receive your EIN, the IRS sends you an EIN Confirmation Letter. Depending on which option you chose, you might have received this letter by mail, fax, or as an online download. However, if you’ve lost track of this letter, don’t panic! Look for other documents that would include your EIN, such as your business license, tax account registration form, or business tax returns. Don’t have any of those documents? No worries. Check out option 2.
Option 2. Contact Your Bank.
If you’ve opened a business bank account or applied for a bank loan, your bank has your EIN on file. Contact the bank and ask them for the number. You might need to bring your business formation documents and some personal identification to prove that you’re entitled to this information.
Option 3. Contact the Service that Filed Your EIN
If you used a business formation service (like us!) to file your EIN, you can reach out to them and ask them to resend your EIN number. Keep in mind a business service can only access your EIN if they were the ones to originally file it, and for security purposes, they will only send it to the official email address on file for the business.
Option 4. Call the IRS.
If you can’t recover your EIN using one of the first three options, you’ll need to call the IRS directly. Their business hours are Monday-Friday, 7am to 7pm local time. Be prepared to wait on hold for quite a while. Once you reach an IRS representative, you’ll need to provide identifying information about your business, and the representative will tell you your EIN number. The IRS will only disclose the EIN to someone authorized by the business—such as the business owner or a corporate officer.
Here’s the number to call:
IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line—800-829-4933
What if I need a new EIN?
If you need to apply for a new EIN, you’ll file Form SS-4 with the IRS. If you have a social security number, you can apply online and receive your EIN within minutes. If you don’t have an SSN, you’ll need to apply using the paper form. Applying for an EIN through the IRS is free.
Learn How to Obtain an EIN Number.