How to Verify an EIN Number

If the EIN owner cannot find your EIN confirmation letter from the IRS, contact the IRS. If the person who needs to retrieve the EIN is not an authorized representative of the company, he or she may request that an actual authorized representative complete IRS Form 2848 Tax Information Authorization.

Brad Nakase, Attorney

Email  |  Tel (888) 600-8654

Tom is preparing to open his brand-new bar in Venice Beach. The space has been perfectly designed to reflect his aesthetic, and he has a whole menu of classic and signature cocktails for patrons to enjoy. Tom has put many months and endless hours into creating his bar, and now he is ready to set up a business account at his local bank and to hire employees. However, when Tom arrives at the bank for his appointment to set up a business account, they tell him that he needs to provide his EIN. EIN? He doesn’t know what this is. The person at the bank, who is very helpful, tells Tom that an EIN is an Employment Identification Number, similar to his personal social security number (SSN). Every business that wants to open a business account needs to have an EIN. Okay, thinks Tom, then I’ll start with hiring my employees. Nope! The teller informs him that he also needs to get his EIN before hiring any employees. Well, Tom wonders, how do I go about getting this EIN? The kind bank employee tells him that he can go onto the IRS website and apply to receive or verify an EIN number for his business.

How to Verify an EIN Number

An Employer Identification Number, also known as an EIN, is a nine-digit number used for tax identification. It is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It functions much like a social security number does for an individual, only for a business. Whether personal or business, tax identification numbers like the EIN are private. Therefore, it is not easy to verify an EIN unless the person doing the verifying has the authority to act on behalf of the business. Registered nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations are the exception to the rule.

If an EIN is Lost

Authorized representatives of a company can call the IRS and confirm or verify a business EIN. A business owner is automatically an authorized representative. Other authorized representatives of a business may include company officers, sole proprietors, partners, and trustees or executors of estates.

The verification process is simple. The authorized representative will call the IRS at (800) 829-4933. After receiving some identifying information, the IRS representative will provide the EIN number over the phone.

When Not an Authorized Representative

If the person who needs to retrieve the EIN is not an authorized representative of the company, he or she may request that an actual authorized representative complete IRS Form 2848 Tax Information Authorization. Ironically, the form requires an EIN. This means that if the company in question has lost or misplaced its EIN, then an authorized representative from the company must call the IRS.

Exempt Organizations

If an individual wishes to verify a charitable company’s EIN, then he or she should proceed to the IRS website and complete an Exempt Organization select Check. This is an IRS tool used to verify information about nonprofits. Because these businesses are not-for-profit, their information is public record. An individual can search for a business using the search tool and see the EIN to verify tax deductible donations. It is also possible to see the status of the charity.

The IRS system will let one know if the business has its tax-exempt status taken away for not filing Form 990-N. This form is responsible for verifying the amount of income a business has. So, even though the company is tax-exempt, it still has to file and report income to the IRS. If it does not do this, then it can lose its charitable, tax-exempt status.

Other Ways to Verify an EIN

It is possible to retrieve an EIN via other sources. It is true that an EIN is private information, but employers will generally be okay with confirming an EIN if requested. An EIN number is used on payroll checks and provided on contractors’ 1099s. An incorrect EIN can cause the IRS to reject personal or business tax returns. It can also lead to the IRS refusing requests for other information due to inconsistencies in data. If this occurs, then the verifying an EIN is required to prevent understating and overstating income.

It is also possible to verify an EIN by running a credit history. If an individual has a company’s EIN and is authorized to perform a credit check, then the credit report will verify the name of the business and the address associated with the EIN.

The Process of Verifying an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a critical financial element of a business. An EIN is required to file credit applications, tax returns, and state licenses and permits. Without this number, a business will stall, unable to grow or perform necessary activities. Like an individual’s social security number (SSN), an EIN is a nine-digit number provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This number is private, so in order to verify an EIN, one must have a certain amount of authority. If an individual is not an authorized representative of the company in question, then he or she must receive authorization prior to EIN verification.

Calling the IRS

The IRS is responsible for providing and maintaining records for EINs. If an individual is authorized to verify an EIN, then he or she may call the IRS to get this information. Usually, this is relevant is a company’s EIN is lost or misplaced. Authorized individuals able to act on behalf of the company in this way may include:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Corporate officer
  • Trustee
  • Estate executor

To call the IRS, an authorized individual may call the Business and Specialty Tax Line. This line is open Monday through Friday, from 7 AM to 7 PM EST. The number is (800) 829-4933.

Nonprofit Exemption

In order to verify an EIN for a business, one must be an authorized individual. However, this rule does not apply to nonprofit entities. Nonprofits are required to maintain public records. This means that anyone can access this information from the IRS. Similarly, if one requests the EIN from a nonprofit, by law the nonprofit must provide it.

One can look up a nonprofit organization on the Exempt Organization page on the IRS website. This site will verify EINs of nonprofits but will also reveal if the organization is in good standing with the IRS. What does good standing mean? A company in good standing is current on tax returns and filings. This site will also show if the organization has had its nonprofit status taken away.

Other Ways to Verify

A non-authorized person requesting an EIN must have a legitimate reason to ask for it. An example of a legitimate reason would be a loan officer needing to verify a company’s EIN for a loan. This loan officer would need authorization in the form of a signed credit application that includes the EIN, company name, address, and officer information. This kind of verification comes with fees.

An investor or business partner can request that a company verify its EIN by providing previous tax returns. While private companies do not have to provide this information, it is often in their best interest to do so when negotiating. If concerned about the company’s financial health, potential partners or investors can always conduct a Dun & Bradstreet search.


An employee can see his or her company’s EIN on their paycheck or W-2. It is important that these two numbers match. If they do not, the IRS can reject a tax return with an incorrect EIN. If this occurs, then the payroll representative will need to verify the EIN number so that payroll is properly conducted and recorded.

Learn more about: Business | Corporate | Employment Law

Please tell us your story:

4 + 2 = ?

Characteristics of an Entrepreneur Mindset

An entrepreneurial mindset is determined, creative, resourceful, and resilient in the most adverse circumstances. An entrepreneur mindset is often positive thinking and comfortable with discomfort.

How To Start Drive Through Coffee Kiosk

Learn steps to start a drive-thru coffee stand begins with a concept or theme on what the coffee kiosk will look like to the public. Then, you must draft a business plan on how the drive through coffee stand will succeed.

What are the components of a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is a strategic outline businesses use to organize, execute, outreach to specific customers, and track their advertising strategy based on a schedule that includes weekly, monthly and yearly activities.

How to transfer LLC ownership?

Two common ways to transfer LLC ownership are to conduct a partial sale to a third party or sell your entire LLC to a third party.

Why Do Companies Incorporate in Delaware?

The State of Delaware offers companies lenient tax benefits and liability protection. Also, companies that incorporate in Delaware do not have to do business in the state.

What Is Business Communication?

Business communication is exchanging information between employees within the workplace and people outside a company.

What Does a Business Lawyer Do?

A business lawyer provides legal services and educates companies on legal matters, including litigation, best practices, applicable laws, creating legal documents, business formation, conflict resolution, business dealings, business transactions, and best business practices.

Inc vs. LLC

Incs. is short for incorporated, and LLC is short for Limited Liability Company. For Inc., where the owner elected to be an S corporation, the profit and loss are passed to its shareholders, whereas income and loss in an LLC flow through to the members.

Compare LLC and Inc.

An Inc. is short for incorporated and an LLC stands for a limited liability company. Both protect company owners from personal liability for business obligations.

How to Start an LLC in California

To start an LLC in California, you may hire a lawyer or do it yourself by going to the Secretary of State's website and registering your business as an LLC by filing the Article of Organization and following the instructions.

Can Two Businesses Have the Same Name?

It depends. If the business name is a registered service mark or trademark, another business cannot have the same name because it violates trademark law. You must perform a three-part test if the business name is not a registered service mark or trademark.

Material Breach of Contract

A material breach of contract occurs when a party fail to perform a contract's terms making the primary purpose of the contract not met, the breach is considered material.

What Type of Business Is a Partnership?

A partnership is the simplest business structure where two or more people are owners of a business. The types of business partnerships include general partnership, limited partnership, and limited liability partnership.

What Is Company Culture?

A company culture is how things get done in the workplace. Company culture can more be described as core values or operating principles used to set the tone for the company's overall operations and success.

What is a sole proprietorship?

A sole proprietor is someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself. A sole proprietorship is a business that can be owned and controlled by an individual.

Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC

Sole proprietorships are popular for self-employed professionals, freelancers, and contract workers, while LLC offers personal liability protection than sole proprietorship.

Is it legal to sell homemade food in California?

Yes, you can sell food from home so long as you have California-required health and food handling permits and business licenses. You must get a permit to sell food from home from the county health department in California. 

How to Incorporate a Small Business in California?

To incorporate a small business in California, file an Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State's office. After you file the Article of Incorporation, create corporate bylaws, and elect your initial director(s).

6 Steps for Planning a Business Grand Opening

1. Create Goals for the Event, 2. Begin Planning Early, 3. Stick to the Budget, 4. Have the Right Insurance, 5. Advertise Before the Event, 6. Offer Food and Entertainment

10 Facts About Business Before Starting A Business

1) More than 50% of new businesses survive their first year in business. 2) Less than 50% of family-owned businesses are passed to their children. 3) 40% of business experience challenges in the supply chain…

S Corp vs C Corp – Differences and Benefits

The main difference between an S Corp and a C Corp is that for a C Corp, the corporate profit is taxed to the company, and the dividends to the shareholders are also taxed. In contrast, for an S Corp, the profit is taxed to the shareholder but not to the corporation. Generally, small businesses are S Corps, and major companies are C Corps, e.g., Apple, Microsoft, Caterpillar, John Deer, etc.

How to Form a Corporation in California?

To form a corporation in California follow these steps: 1) Write a one page Article of Incorporation, 2) File the Article of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State, 3) Elect corporate board of directors, 4) File Statement of Information with Secretary of State.

What are the benefits of a corporate lawyer?

The are many benefits of hiring a corporate lawyer for your business which includes: avoiding litigation, enforceable contracts, develop employee policies, proper licensing, etc.

What is Commercial Litigation?

Commercial litigation refers to litigation (lawsuit) that involves commercial or business disputes in court between two or more parties.

How to Get Rid of a 50 50 Business Partner.

How to Get Rid of a 50/50 Business Partner. One method to get rid of a 50/50 partner is to file a business partnership dissolution in the state your company was formed to end the partnership.

Personal Assistant Scam

A personal assistant scam typically involves a perpetrator putting out an ad to hire a personal assistant. Then, when the perpetrator purportedly hires the personal assistant, the assistant is asked to buy something with their own money with the promise to be repaid. The perpetuator then disappears after receiving the goods.

Fiduciary Responsibility Definition

A fiduciary responsibility refers to an organization that must put another person’s best interest first. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care in law. For example, a lawyer owes a fiduciary responsibility to the clients, a doctor owes a fiduciary duty to a patient, and a trustee owes a fiduciary duty to a beneficiary.

© Copyright | Nakase Law Firm (2019)