Requirements and Limitations:

  • You must use the same registered copy of QuickBooks Desktop, on the same machine, to process payroll for all companies on a single payroll subscription.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Payroll can ONLY support one company data file per EIN. Attempts to use multiple company files under the same EIN and payroll subscription may cause errors.
  • The contact information and payroll administrator for the payroll subscription will be the same for all companies you add to a single subscription.
  • If you pay your employees with Direct Deposit (DD), you can have multiple companies (separate data files with different EINs) with DD on the same DIY Payroll subscription.
  • Each QuickBooks Desktop Payroll service has a limit on the number of companies you can add to a single subscription. These limits are based on company data files, not number of employees.
  • If you are an Enhanced Payroll for Accountants license owner, we highly recommend against giving your service keys to your clients. Doing so may cause your payroll subscription account to be exposed to unauthorized users. For more information on this, please visit section of the Software License Agreement for QuickBooks Software and Intuit Payroll Services.
Service Maximum number of EINS
QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Basic 3
QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Standard 3
QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced 3
QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Enhanced for
QuickBooks Desktop Payroll Assisted Each EIN is charged separately. Discounts apply for multiple companies


To add another company or EIN to your subscription:

These steps do not apply to you if the following scenarios are true:
  1. From the top menu bar, select Employees > Payroll > Use My Existing Payroll Service.If you do not see the option, see The "Use my existing payroll service" option is not available.
  2. Under Identify Subscription, choose Use Subscription Number XXXXXXX [ Payroll Subscription Version ].
    • If you do not see your own subscription in the list, select Other: I have an existing subscription and a Zip Code and enter your information.
  3. Select Next.
  4. When the Add Company Information window opens, select Next to add the company EIN.
  5. Select Print, or Return to QuickBooks Desktop. A Validating Payroll Subscription window opens and the service is added automatically.
  6. Verify the Service Key.
    1. From the top menu bar, select Employees > My Payroll Service > Manage Service Keys.
    2. Select View to display the new service key with an Active Status.

If you purchased a subscription directly from Intuit prior to creating a QuickBooks Desktop company file:

  1. Get the service key of the EIN you are adding:
    • Use our Automated Service Key/Disk Delivery key tool, or
    • Contact us.
    • When you provide the EIN you will be given a unique service key. If you receive updates by disk, please use the automated service key/disk delivery key tool.
  2. From the top menu bar, select Employees > Payroll > Enter Payroll Service Key.
  3. Select Add and enter the service key as one number with no hyphens.
  4. If the company file already has the payroll service key in it click Edit instead of Add, and then enter the service key.
  5. Select Next then Finish.
  6. A new Tax Table will be downloaded and payroll functions will be activated in your QuickBooks Desktop company file.