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How to Obtain a Seller's Permit

Updated March 23, 2017

A seller's permit is necessary if you intend to sell products or services as a business entity. A seller's permit is also known as a sales and use tax license. It allows you to purchase goods and services directly from manufacturers and distributors for resale without paying retail sales tax. Fortunately, a seller's permit is relatively easy to obtain from the relevant government agency in your state.

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  1. Visit the Business.gov website. Business.gov is a portal website that allows you to easily navigate to your specific state's or city's website to apply for your seller's permit. You can also call your local taxation department for information about applying for a seller's permit.

  2. Decide if you need a temporary or a permanent permit. Get a temporary permit if you will only be selling items for a short period of time---for example, at a weekend trade show. Get a permanent seller's permit if you plan to have a permanent business entity engaged in regular retail sales of goods and services.

  3. Download and print the seller's permit application. The temporary and permanent seller's permits are two different applications, so make sure to get the permit application that is relevant for your business. If you do not have access to a printer, go directly to the state office and pick up a copy of the application.

  4. Honestly and accurately complete all required sections of the application. Information that you will be asked to provide includes the following: your Social Security number, names of suppliers, estimated monthly sales and the names and addresses of any personal references. Any inconsistencies between the information you provide and what the state has on record will cause your application to be delayed or rejected.

  5. Mail the application, or apply for the permit in person. If you mail the application, ensure that it is certified mail so that you have a record of it in case it gets lost or misplaced in transit. If you visit the office, call ahead for its business hours, or make an appointment if it is necessary in your state.

  6. Post your permit conspicuously at your place of business. After receiving your permit, you are required to post it in a location that is visible to the public.

  7. Warning

    Do not make sales until you have a permit.

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Things You'll Need

  • Social Security number
  • Names of suppliers
  • Seller's permit application

About the Author

An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.

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