I saw my friend filling up an application on Legalzoom to open a company. All he did was entered his name, address for the articles of incorporation and to obtain the EIN he entered his SSN.
I am sort of paranoid when it comes to this kind of information but I was worried that someone might use my identity with SSN to start a company in my name and might do some wrong things. Am I right to be this concerned or is there a way to verify ownership? How can I know how many companies are under my name?
You sound a bit paranoid. If someone used your social security number for an unlawful purpose and makes false representations to the IRS, they are most likely breaking all sorts of laws, including criminal. Then again, you are not paranoid if someone is really watching you. I am not sure, but perhaps you could send the IRS a Freedom of Information Act request to determine if anyone has unlawfully used your social security number to obtain an EIN.
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Unless unauthorized persons have your SSN the risk is very low.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
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