Obtaining a Seller’s Permit

If you are planning to sell goods, you will likely need to obtain a seller’s permit, usually from the tax or revenue department of the state in which you are doing business. This permit exempts you from paying sales tax on the products you purchase for resale through your business and authorizes you to collect sales tax from your customers. Businesses that sell only services are exempt from the seller’s permit requirement. To be certain whether or not you need a seller’s permit, ask your taxing authority for clarification because they issue seller’s permit.

In many states, wholesalers or manufacturers may not sell to you at wholesale prices unless you can show them your seller’s permit. A wholesaler is not required to collect sales tax from a retailer who holds a valid seller’s permit and who buys items for resale to customers. Complete information regarding sales tax and getting a seller’s permit can be obtained through your state’s Department of Revenue.

Obtaining Business Licenses

Almost all businesses require filing certain licenses and obtaining particular permits. The type of business licenses and permits that you need are vary by city, county, and state, as well as by type of business you plan to start, so study the regulation carefully. You may need one or more specialized licenses, especially if you serve or sell food, liquor, or firearms, work with hazardous materials, or discharge any materials into the air or water.

Business licenses are serious matters in most cities. If your state government discovers that you are doing business without licenses or permits, a variety of bad things can happen to you. To get the license, you may be required to conform to certain zoning laws and to meet building codes and other regulations set by the local health, fire, or police department.