How to Find a California Tax ID Number EIN

By Edward A. Haman, J.D.

How to Find a California Tax ID Number EIN

By Edward A. Haman, J.D.

Where to find a California company's tax ID number may depend upon your relationship to the company. Since an EIN is used in a similar manner to an individual person's Social Security number, businesses generally try to limit access to their tax ID number. For that same reason, state and federal agencies won't freely give out the number.

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What Is an EIN?

An employer identification number (EIN) is a number issued by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to a business entity. An EIN is also commonly called an employer ID number or a tax ID number (TIN). A company conducting business in the State of California uses its federal EIN when filing various documents with the state. Therefore, a company's federal EIN is also its California EIN.

Finding Your Company's EIN

You may receive a request for your company's EIN from someone with whom you do business, in order to enable them to file required tax forms. You also need the number for your state and federal tax filings.

At some point during the process of setting up your business, you obtained an EIN. This was either done by filing an online request or by submitting the IRS Application for Employer Identification Number (Form SS-4) by mail or fax. When your application was approved, you should have received a copy of the form showing the tax ID number that was assigned to your business.

If you have been in business long enough to have filed any state or federal forms related to business income taxes, sales or excise taxes, employee tax withholding, worker compensation or unemployment taxes, etc., you should be able to find your company's EIN on your copies of any of those forms. The EIN might also appear on bank statements or other financial documents.

If you cannot locate any documents with your company's EIN, you can do one or more of the following:

  • Contact any banks, lenders, insurance companies, or other institutions or agencies that you might have provided with the EIN.
  • Contact the Business Entities Division of the California Secretary of State.
  • Visit the IRS website and look for information regarding lost or misplaced EINs. The IRS will not give out a company's EIN number to just anyone, so you need to provide information about your company in order to satisfy the IRS that you are entitled to the number.

Finding Your Employer's EIN

If you are seeking the EIN for a company you work for, you may have access to the same information as the owners of the company. If you don't have such access to company tax and financial records, the company's EIN may be on your paystubs, W-2 forms, or other tax-related documents you may have received.

Finding Other Companies' EINs

If you do business with a company, you may need its EIN for various reasons, such as to complete required federal, state, or local tax forms. If this is the case, contact the company and request its EIN. The best way to do this is to send the company the IRS Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (Form W-9).

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.