Apply for a Federal Identification Number (EIN)

What is an Employer Identification Number?

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is like a Social Security Number, but for your business. You might also see an EIN referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number, FTIN or TIN. It helps both you, and those you do business with, identify your business as a unique entity.

Why does my business need an EIN?

US businesses require an EIN for a variety of reasons. An EIN helps the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, identify your business quickly and easily. If you want to do business with the Town or any other governmental agency, you will need an EIN to complete various forms and applications.

How do I obtain an EIN?

EINs are easy to obtain, and entirely free. They are issued by the IRS. The application to obtain an EIN can be completed online. Simply visit IRS Website - Employer ID Numbers and click “Apply for an EIN Online."

You can also apply for an EIN via fax, mail or phone, but the process will generally take a little longer. The directions for each of these methods can be found on this page.

How to apply for an EIN

How long does it take to obtain an EIN?

The online application to obtain an EIN takes a matter of minutes. After you have completed the application successfully, an EIN will be issued to you right away. However, please note that the online EIN service is only available on weekdays between 6AM and 9PM Central Time.

Applying for an EIN via fax takes about a week, while applying by mail takes between four and five weeks. 

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Identify Your Industry Codes

In order to participate in procurement, you will need to describe your business to different buyers. The Town of Brookline and State agencies use different code systems to categorize vendors. NAICS, UNSPSC, and NIGP are the most common.


What are NAICS Codes?

Industry codes, also referred to as NAICS codes, help describe what your business does. For example, if your business is a barber shop, then your NAICS code is 812111. The Federal Government uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code to classify businesses.

Why does my business need NAICS codes?

Cities and government agencies use industry codes for things like taxation and licensing, which means you’ll need them in order to do business with the Town of Brookline. These codes help the government quickly and correctly identify what your business does. Many of the forms you’ll encounter in this process will require an industry code.

More about NAICS codes


What are UNSPSC Codes?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts uses the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) to classify goods and services. If you are interested in working with the State or other public entities, you will need to know your UNSPSC codes. 

When you register as a vendor with COMMBUYS, you will need to pick the codes that best describe your business. This will ensure you are notified of upcoming opportunities that might be a good fit. 

If you are having trouble choosing, you can contact the Operational Services Division or visit their resources page here.   

You can view a webinar on Selecting Your Commodity Codes in COMMBUYS here

NIGP Codes

What are NIGP Codes?

NIGP Codes are a proprietary goods and services taxonomy developed by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing. The categories are designed for public sector buyers. State and Local Governments can license the codes for their procurement systems. 

It’s important to be familiar with these categories if you are looking to work with public entities. 

Learn more about NIGP codes

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