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How to Look Up a Business By Their Tax ID Number

A business tax ID number is also known as a Federal Tax ID Numbers, and the IRS issues it to business owners for various tax purposes. Companies and organizations with these ID numbers are easily identified by a number of government agencies. If you need to look up a certain business by its tax ID number, the steps you’ll need to take depend on whether the business is a public or a private organization.

<strong>Publicly Traded Organizations</strong>

Finding a public company by its tax ID number is somewhat easier in most cases. These are companies that sell shares of stock to the public, and their owners are required to file several sets of paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service. Their accountants need to include the company’s federal tax ID number on every annual 10K earnings report. These documents and other yearly financial statements also need to be filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, so they then become a matter of public record. You can visit the Securities and Exchange Commission’s free online database and look up a company by name, location or owner’s name. The federal tax ID number will also come up with this information.

<strong>Privately Owned Companies</strong>

These types of businesses are sole proprietorships, partner-owned organizations or similar. They don’t have public stock available, and their financial documents are not filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the same manner. To look up one of these organization’s tax ID number, you’ll need to use a fee-based search service that stores these kinds of documents in databases.

<strong>Non-Profit Organizations</strong>

Non-profits are governed by boards of directors and don’t have the same form of ownership as the previous two types of businesses. Any generated revenue is put immediately back into the non-profit. Those in charge of accounting are required to file informational reports to the IRS each year, and you can access these forms through the IRS online database for non-profit organizations. Third-party online search services also keep records of this information, and you can access it at little or no cost. You’ll want to look for Forms 990-PF for non-profit foundations, and these documents will include the federal tax ID number.

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