How to Apply for a Massachusetts Sales Tax ID

How to Apply for a Massachusetts Sales Tax ID

How to Apply for a Massachusetts Sales Tax ID

Greetings prospective vendor at ARISIA. 

Before we can allow you to vend at the convention, you must file for and secure a Massachusetts Sales Tax ID.  Since the law requires you to then publicly display that sales tax id on your booth for all convention goers to see, we strongly recommend you first go to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and apply for an Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN or EIN).

As a convenience, I have gone in as far as I could into each government website to take screenshots and create a step-by-step tutorial to help you through these steps.  As you file your own application, please take screenshots, jot down temporary numbers, and save copies of everything you file because, if you lose them, getting those numbers (on your end) is a nightmare.  However, the process itself is fairly pain free and easy (if annoying).

Please do not make excuses about why you think you shouldn't have to get a sales tax id or feel the law does not apply to you.  The law is very strict about what it requires Arisia to do.  If you vend here, you need a Sales Tax ID.  The DOR doesn't care if you're small.  They don't care if you only sell a handful of items a year totaling less than $2 in taxes.  They don't care if in, some other state, you wouldn't have to do this or would be exempt.  If we don't gather the proper verification paperwork beforehand, the DOR can shut down all of the sellers at Arisia until an agent personally verifies every vendor at Arisia has a valid sales tax id and they will also assess us with a large fine.  Arisia will not assume that risk on your behalf.  Applying for the proper credentials online is a simple, painless process, while the risk to Arisia and the other vendors if you do not produce the proper credentials places an unfair burden on other people. 

If you do not produce a valid sales tax id that we can print out and keep in our records, your business will be disqualified for this year and your table given to another vendor on our very long waitlist.

Before you start application process, take a moment to think of the name you'd like to use for your business if you do not already have a business name.  Think over your business name very carefully as you will be stuck with this name for a very long time, as in, forever.

Part I - Apply for a Federal Employer Identification (FEIN) online:

  1. Read through this portion of the tutorial completely and gather the paperwork you will need in advance.  The website has a time limit on how long it will allow you to stay on each page, resulting in you having to go back and restart the form from scratch.  Very annoying.
  2. Go to the IRS FEIN website:
    Screenshot of IRS site - EIN- Apply Online
  3. Scroll down.  We suggest you follow the link to download Publication 15 while you are here:
    Screenshot of IRS site - Find Pub 15
  4. Click APPLY ONLINE NOW.  It will bring you to this page:
  5. Read the instructions and then click BEGIN APPLICATION.
    Screenshot of IRS site - EIN Assistants
  6. You need to designate what kind of vendor you are.  You can get more information by clicking the What if I do not know what type of legal structure or organization to choose? link.  If you still have questions, consult with an attorney (not us), but most of our vendors are SOLE PROPRIETORS.
  7. Click CONTINUE.
    Screenshot of IRS site - EIN Assistant - Legal
  8. On the next page, click SOLE PROPRIETOR again (if that is the designation you chose).  
  9. Then click CONTINUE.
    Screenshot of DOR site - EIN Assistant - Chosen
  10. The next page is a confirmation page.  Click CONTINUE again.
    Screenshot of DOR site - EIN Assistant - Confirm
  11. Click STARTED A NEW BUSINESS. And then click CONTINUE.
    Screenshot of IRS site - EIN Assistant - Started
  12. Fill in your full legal name and Social Security number exactly as you have it on your social security card.
  13. Click 'I am the Sole Proprietor.'
  14. Click CONTINUE.
    Screenshot of IRS site - EIN Assistant - Tell Us
  15. Now from here I can't take screenshots as I already (personally) have an FEIN number and don't wish to get assigned a second one, but it will prompt you with a few more questions, including YOUR BUSINESS NAME. 
  16. Once you are done, it will bring you to a page where it will generate an official-looking letter from the IRS stating they have assigned you a Temporary FEIN Number.  DOWNLOAD THIS PAGE IT IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!  

Part II - Take your FEIN and use it to apply for a Massachusetts Sales Tax ID

  1. Go to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) MassTax Connect
  2. Click I WANT TO.
    Screenshot of DOR site - I Want To
  3. Click 'Register a New Business’.  
    Screenshot of DOR site - Register a New Business
  4. Click NEXT.
    Screenshot of DOR site - New Business Registration
  5. Click 'I am registering a business, organization, or other entity.'
    Screenshot of DOR site - Select One
  6. Now you will begin filling out the information which is unique to you. This is as far in as I can bring you without getting stuck with an unwanted second extra sales tax id, so you're on your own, but it's not much different than the FEIN application.  Be sure to enter your business name when it prompts you EXACTLY AS IT IS LISTED IN THE IRS FEIN LETTER, right down to punctuation and spaces, or the MA DOR will reject your application and you might have to go into their office, in person, to straighten it out.
    Screenshot of DOR site - Legal Info
  7. Towards the end of this process, it should generate a Temporary Registration certificate.
  8. Print, take a SCREENSHOT for your records, download a copy of it if you can, and email a copy to ARISIA.  This piece of paper is VERY IMPORTANT.  It is also a ROYAL PAIN IN THE BUTT to get your hands on if you don't remember how to go in and get it, so please make a backup copy of it.
    Screenshot of DOR site - Print Me
  9. In a couple of weeks, your permanent MA SALES TAX ID form will come in the mail.  As soon as you get it, please scan a copy of it and forward an e-copy to the ARISIA sales tax czar at
  10. Congratulations, ARISIA vendor!  You are now an 'official' business.

You MUST bring the final Sales Tax ID certificate the state will mail to you with you to the conference!!!  If you do not have this, by law we are required to refuse you entrance to set up your booth or ask you to pack up your stuff and go home.  Please do not make us do this … we like our vendors and don't like having to play Goon Squad for the Department of Revenue.  If we do not have your certificate before the con, we cannot allow you in the door to vend.  No exceptions. Sorry ☹  It's the law.  Thank you for understanding.