Seller's Permits

Seller's Permits


You are generally required to obtain a permit if you sell or lease merchandise or any personal property, or provide services that are subject to sales taxes. Different states may refer to this permit by different names, such as a seller's permit, resale permit, resale license, or similar name, but the requirement is essentially the same in all states.

A seller's permit allows a business to purchase goods at wholesale and not pay sales taxes on items that will be resold by the business. The business collects sales taxes from the consumer and then files a report and remits the collected sales taxes to the state.

Each business location is required to have its own seller's permit. There may be no fee or a nominal fee for obtaining a seller's permit, but a state may require a security deposit to be posted depending on the type of business and the expected volume of business.

Our service researches the requirements of your state for obtaining a seller's or use permit and completes the application for you. It is then sent to you with instructions for submitting it to the appropriate agency to obtain your requested permit.

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Do I need a seller's permit if I'm only attending a trade show or other short term event?

Generally yes. Most states require that a person obtain a seller's permit even if the sales will be conducted only for a short period of time, and issue temporary permits for this purpose instead of regular seller's permits.

Can I use the seller's permit of the business I purchased?

No. A seller's permit is issued to the person who submitted the application and only for that business at the location specified. A new owner is required to obtain a new seller's permit.

Will applying for or obtaining a seller's permit also require me to pay other taxes or fees or submit other registrations?

It depends on the form in which you operate your business and whether there are any other requirements that are imposed on you that have not been satisfied. For example, if you're an out-of-state business applying to obtain a seller's permit, the foreign state may require that you first qualify or register with the Secretary of State for authority to do business before a seller's permit will be issued. This may also require you to pay franchise taxes and income taxes in the foreign state based on the sales you generate in that state.

Are sales tax permits, seller's permits and use tax permits all the same?

No. A use tax permit or certificate is related, but different. An out–of–state business that is not required to obtain a seller's permit but is engaged in business making retail sales, leases or rentals, or providing taxable services, is required to obtain a use tax certificate. If they have sufficient contact with the state issuing the use certificate, they must collect use taxes from that state's consumers and remit it to the state in the same manner as sales taxes

If I sell "tangible goods" or taxable services to residents of another state only through the Internet, am I required to obtain a seller's permit or use tax permit in that state?

This has been a hotly debated and controversial subject for several years and there is no definitive answer. Several states have adopted legislation attempting to impose this requirement on large online companies like Amazon, but this is the subject of currently unresolved litigation. If an online company has no "physical presence" in a state, it will be difficult for such state legislation to withstand constitutional scrutiny. This issue becomes murky when a company has a distribution center in that state, or owns a distribution center or logistical operations in a state through a subsidiary or other affiliated entity.

What are my responsibilities as the holder of a seller's permit?

You must:

  • Post the seller's permit in a conspicuous place at each business location;
  • Collect sales taxes on all taxable sales and services;
  • Pay sales and use taxes on all taxable purchases;
  • Timely report and pay sales and use taxes;
  • Keep adequate records;
  • Notify the state of any change of address, sale, transfer or cessation of the business or any location where a permit was issued.

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