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How are business name control codes determined?

How are business name control codes determined?
Updated December 05, 2016 -- For Administrators and Employees
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’s 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.

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