An Employer Identification Number or an EIN is a nine-digit number given to identify certain businesses and classify their tax status. It works in much the same was as a personal social security number works for individuals. While there may be several reasons why a business would want to have its own EIN, its main purpose is for filing taxes with the IRS.
Reasons Why You Might Need to Do a Reverse Lookup:
More often than not, people who are looking up a business' EIN are checking on the status of a non-profit organization to see if they are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. They may need this information to ensure that any donations they decide to give to the organization will be allowable as a tax deduction. However, this is not the only reason to check up on a business. You may need to find out the identity of the owner of a company or if the business you're considering dealing with is legitimate or not; for that information you will need to do what is called a reverse EIN lookup.
How to Do a Reverse Lookup:
There are several ways to do this kind of search. To search out a company's exempt status with the IRS, you need to first go to the government site at SECInfo.com. Type the EIN into the "search" line and click. The system will return with the name of the company the number is assigned to. This is a basic community service and can be done for free.
There are also services that will do a reverse EIN lookup for a fee. These services will give you more information about the company such as who owns it, its filing status and so on. However, you will also have to provide more information about yourself and the reason you want this information to get the results you need. At the very least, you need to know the name of the state the business is located in.
Your Local Library:
This information is not always readily available but many have enlisted the aid of their local librarian. Most public libraries already have access to many fee-based databases, which can help you to find the identity of the owner of a business EIN number easily.
Your IRS Office:
Probably the most direct way to do a reverse EIN lookup is to go directly to the where the number was issued. However, be prepared for some scrutiny before they give you what you want. You will have to give them an acceptable reason for obtaining the information as well as provide some personal information about yourself so they can determine if you have a legitimate reason for the information you're requesting.
While the Employer Identification Number is not as closely guarded as a personal social security number it still needs to be protected. Doing a reverse EIN lookup will not be as easy as looking up a phone number or a home address in the phone book. However, if you do it correctly and have a good reason for the information you request you will be able to find what you're looking for.