As of 2015, it is relatively easy to look up a Federal Identification Number by using the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system, or EDGAR. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains EDGAR.
Any individual or business that has employees or operates as a corporation or partnership must obtain a Federal Identification or Employer Identification Number. The individual or business must use this number to open bank accounts, apply for permits or licenses and file tax returns. The SEC has access to some of this information and collects EINs that individuals may look up through the EDGAR system. For non-profit organizations, the Melissa Data system performs a similar function.