FAQs About Business Name Control Codes for ACA E-Filing

The IRS uses business name control codes to verify that the identifying information provided on tax returns and forms corresponds to the correct company. A business' name control code is made up of alphanumeric characters (plus hyphens and ampersands) and is usually the first four characters four characters of the business' name.

The business name control code and Employer Identification Number (EIN) on electronically filed returns must match the ones on record with the IRS, or the return will be rejected as incorrect.

If you receive an email from Zenefits that your ACA forms were rejected because of a name control code mismatch, you should:

  1. Log in to Zenefits and click on the ACA Compliance app.
  2. Click Filing in the orange navigation bar at the top.
  3. Click Fix Errors.
  4. Double check to make sure your Employer Identification Number (EIN) is correct on your e-filing.
  5. Review the rules and examples for valid business name control codes and confirm that the correct name control code was included in your e-filing. Click Edit to fix any incorrect control codes.
  6. If you can't determine the correct codes on your own, call the IRS Business Line at (800)829-4933 (choose option 1) for assistance.

    The IRS Error Code for a mismatched business name control code is AIREX126.

The IRS creates business name control codes using the first four letters of a company's legal name as listed on Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number. Zenefits uses the same rules, but determines these codes based on the information administrators provide in their company profile.

Here's how to determine a company's name code using the same rules as the IRS:

  • Omit blank spaces in the name. Blank spaces are allowed only at the end of the code.
    Name Control Code
    New Horizons NEWH
    7th Street Inc. 7THS
  • Remove invalid characters. Name control codes can contain only numbers (0-9), capital letters (A-Z), hyphens (-), or Ampersands (&). If there‚Äôs an invalid character in the name, drop it from the company's name and include the next valid character (if any).
    Name Control Code
    OAK! Tree Supply OAKT
    P+P Industrial PPIN
  • Remove DBA ("doing business as") and the DBA name, if used. DBA names are not part of the company's legal name.
  • Take the first valid four characters of the company's name.
    • If there are fewer then four, simply use them as the code.
    • If the business name begins with "The", include it in the name code only when it's followed by a single word. For example:
      Name Control Code
      The Willow Company WILL
      The Hawthorn THEH

For more examples of valid business name control codes, see this table.

Here's a table of valid business name control codes for different example business names, with an explanation of how the rules for determining control codes were applied to produce the code.

Business Name

Name Control Code

Rule(s)

Sumac Field Plow Inc.

SUMA

Use the first four significant characters of the corporation name.

11th Street Inc.

11TH

Use the first four significant characters of the corporation name.

P & P Company

P&PC

Use the first four significant characters of the corporation name. Include "&", but exclude the blank spaces.

Y-Z Drive Co

Y-ZD

Include "-", but omit the blank space for the next valid character.

John Hackberry PA

JOHN

Use the first four significant characters of the corporation name.

ELM

ELM

Name has only three character, but all are valid, so use them all.

OAK! Tre

OAKT

"!" and blank space are not valid. Omit both, but include the next valid character.

The Willow Co.

WILL

"The" is followed by two words, so exclude "the" from the code.

The Hawthorn

THEH

"The" is followed by a single word, so include "the", omit the blank space, and include the next valid character.

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