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A Beginner’s Guide to Sales Tax ID Numbers

Sales Tax ID NumbersReading Time: 2 minutes

Otherwise known as an employee identification number or EIN, a business tax identification number is a nine-digit number that the IRS uses to identify your business. Business owners need this unique identifier to get a business license, apply for business loans, file taxes, and even to open a bank account for their company. Here is general information on sales tax ID numbers to help new business owners learn more about them.

New Businesses

New businesses should always designate a representative for their company who acts as a registered agent. The registered agent is the person responsible for applying for the EIN. Your business must have an EIN before making a bank deposit, performing any actions that are tax-related, or filing a tax return. You should always have this number readily available or memorize it.

The fastest way to obtain an EIN is to apply on line at www.irs.gov or call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933. You can also fill out the Form SS-4 and fax it to the IRS at 1-859-669-5760.

Lost or Forgotten EIN Number

There are a few ways that you can find your business tax ID number if you’ve forgotten or misplaced it. First, it’s located on the confirmation notice that you received from the IRS after applying for your EIN. Your EIN also appears on all of the paperwork associated with your business including applications for state and local licenses and bank accounts.

You can also contact the IRS at the same number listed above, if you’re unable to find it. The IRS will require information to release your EIN but it shouldn’t be a complicated process.

Looking Up Another Business

Occasionally, you may need to locate another company’s EIN. You may need it to verify a client or new supplier’s information. If you operate in the insurance industry, you may need to find other businesses’ federal tax identification numbers on a daily basis.  You will usually need the authorization of the company whose EIN you are looking for, in which case, the easiest thing to do is just ask for the company’s EIN. Here are some ways to look up a company’s EIN:

  • Get that Business’s Credit Report.

    Credit bureaus such as Equifax, Transunion, or sites like Nav let you buy your own company’s credit report or look at another business’s for a fee. These reports usually show their EIN.

  • Use a Paid Database

    Paid EIN databases charge a specific fee to access company EINs. Some of these commercial databases include links to company information as well.

  • Ask the Business

    Often, the company’s accounting department can provide that information to you if you simply contact them.

  • Search the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Website (SEC)

    If the business is publicly traded, you can search the SEC website by entering the name of the company. Filings with the SEC should include the EIN.

Hire a Florida Attorney

It’s in your best interest to hire a Florida attorney that can assist you with important business paperwork to properly form your legal entity (either a corporation, trust, estate or limited liability company) and obtaining your federal ID numbers if your business is located here. An attorney will ensure that the proper paperwork is filed out and that all legal requirements are met. It takes a great deal of stress off of you as a business owner to turn legal matters like this over to an attorney that understands Florida law.

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Gary I. Handin, P.A.

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