In Kentucky, state tax identification numbers for companies are called commonwealth business identifier numbers, or CBIs. If you need a company's CBI for tax purposes, you can get it directly from the business. You may also be able to find a CBI in various business filings of publicly held companies.
Business Entities in Kentucky
An incorporated business in the Commonwealth of Kentucky might be a Limited Liability Company, or LLC, or a C-Corp or S-Corp. The first step in incorporating in Kentucky is to decide on the corporate structure. Then, choose a business entity name and conduct a name availability search to ensure that the chosen business name is available before incorporating.
A company needs a registered agent and a principal office address when it files Articles of Incorporation (also known as Articles of Organization) with the Kentucky Office of the Secretary of State to create a company. Companies will need to file annual reports to stay active.
Commonwealth Business Identifier
Kentucky law requires a business to register with the state Department of Revenue. Each company is assigned a unique, 10-digit number by the Department of Venue. The number is called the commonwealth business identifier, or CBI. This number identifies the company in all of its state tax filings.
Companies paying taxes in Kentucky must also obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN or FEIN) from the IRS. The company needs the EIN to file both federal and state business taxes.
Finding a Company's CBI or EIN
You may need a company's CBI or EIN for tax purposes. You would need a company's tax identification number if you are working with them as a subcontractor or vendor, for example, or if you are reporting a donation to a nonprofit company. In that case, the company is obliged to provide the number to you.
If you receive federal or state tax reporting from a business, each form will contain the company's tax numbers. If not, you can send a W-9 form to a company if you have a valid reason and a legal right to obtain tax identification numbers. It is better to ask for this information while you still have a working relationship with the business.
If you want a company's CBI for other reasons, you probably will not find a public database containing the names and tax numbers of all companies doing business in Kentucky. This would present a real security risk to the companies and could result in identity theft.
On the other hand, you may be able to locate a company's CBI or EIN in company document filings. Check with Kentucky's FastTrack Business Organization Search website and search by company name. You can download and review pubic documents that the company has filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
Kentucky Business Identification Number System
Kentucky also assigns each business an organization number. This number is public and easy to access. Depending on your needs, obtaining a business's organization number may get you the information you seek.
You can locate a Kentucky business's organization number by entering the company's name in the online FastTrack Business Organization Search. You will be directed to a page containing the company's name, organization number, and active or inactive status.
Contact the Kentucky Department of Revenue
Assuming you have a legitimate reason to obtain a company's tax identification number in Kentucky, you can also try contacting the state's Department of Revenue. Do this through their Contact Us webpage or call 502-564-4581.
- IRS: Employer Identification Number
- Kentucky One-Stop Business Portal, Federal Tax Registration Requirements
- Kentucky Department of Revenue: Register or Reinstate a Business
- Start a Business: Kentucky
- Kentucky Department of Revenue: Additional Tax Registration Information
- Kentucky.gov: Forms
- Harbor Compliance: How to Incorporate in Kentucky
- Northwest Registered Agent: Kentucky Incorporation Services
Teo Spengler earned a JD from U.C. Berkeley Law School. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an MA and an MFA in English/writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.