Where to Look Up a State Employer Identification Number

Updated on April 12, 2019

When it comes to business taxation, there are various documents and other pieces of information that you need to comply with the Internal Revenue Service’s requirements. All businesses operating in the United States or any of its territories (such as Puerto Rico) will need an Employer Identification Number. But you may need a separate tax identification number depending on what state your company is located/conducts its business. 

How to Obtain a State Tax Identification Number

Each state has different requirements when it comes to conducting business and taxation. Even local municipalities may have additional requirements. Therefore, it’s necessary to get all the information ahead of time so that when it is time to file taxes, you can do so easily. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, whether or not you need a state tax ID number depends on if your business needs to pay state taxes. Again, you will need to defer to each state and their respective laws when it comes to income, employment, state and other taxes.

The process of obtaining a state tax ID is similar to getting a federal tax ID, but the process may differ state by state. You will need to visit your state’s government website to learn more about its respective process to obtain this tax number. 

How to Look up an EIN

If you know that you already have an Employer Identification Number but forgot what it is, you can look it up in several ways. The Internal Revenue Service recommends the following methods:

  • Find your EIN confirmation notice. If you applied online, you were able to download, save, or print this confirmation notice for your records. You will receive such notice as a confirmation of the application for getting an EIN as well as one for your receipt of the EIN (i.e., a successful application). 
  • Since the EIN can be used to open up a business banking account and is also needed as part of the application for certain state/local licenses, you may be able to contact the bank or government agency to get your EIN.
  • Check previously filed tax returns, which should include your EIN if you’ve filed with one in the past.
  • Contact the IRS during normal business hours (Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., local time). You will need to call the Business & Specialty Tax Line. In order for an assistor to provide you with the EIN, you must be an authorized person. 

Any of these easy methods will help you re-secure your EIN. But if you don’t already have an EIN for your business, it is quick to get. 

How to Get an EIN

It is a simple process to apply for an EIN. You will need to fill out the IRS Form SS-4, which can be done online in only a few minutes. You can also apply for the EIN by fax or by mail; international applications may apply by telephone. 

Applying online is an easy, three-step process. First, you must determine your business’s eligibility. If you operate in the United States or one of its territories, you will be required to get an EIN for your business. The individual applying for the EIN must have a valid taxpayer identification number of this own. This number could be a Social Security Number, an Employer Identification Number, or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. 

Second, you need to fill out the form. Make sure you have all the information that you need to successfully complete the form since you are required to fill it out in one session. 

Third and final, submit the form. If you correctly fill out the form, you will immediately get a confirmation notice with your new Employer Identification Number. 

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