A seller’s permit is an official document that allows businesses to sell tangible goods. Anyone who sells items at the retail or wholesale level, whether they operate as an individual or a corporate entity, must first obtain a seller’s permit from their respective state before engaging in business.
Is a Seller’s Permit the Same Thing as a Resale License
No. People often use the terms interchangeably, but a seller’s permit is different from a resale certificate. A resale license allows you to purchase items in bulk; a seller’s permit allows you to sell items. With a reseller permit, you can buy your inventory from a distributor or wholesaler without paying sales and use tax to the state. With a seller’s permit, you are allowed to sell taxable goods to consumers, but you still must pass the tax on to the state.
Is My Seller’s Permit the Same as a Business License?
A business permit is not the same thing as a seller’s permit. A business license permits you to conduct business. A seller’s permit allows you to sell goods or other property. If you start a business that sells goods, you will most likely need both documents.
Do I Need a Seller’s Permit in California?
If you sell property subject to sales tax, including vehicles or merchandise, then you need to obtain a seller’s permit from the California Board of Equalization (BOE). Even if you sell goods temporarily, you will most likely need a certificate. The state of California typically asks anyone who makes three or more sales in any 12-month period to apply for a seller’s permit.1
Do I Need a California Seller’s Permit to Sell Online
Yes.2 Even if you make all of your sales online and store all of your merchandise in your home, you still need a California seller’s permit. That includes items sold through online classified listings such as Craigslist and internet auction houses such as eBay and uBid.
Do I Need a Seller’s Permit for a Garage Sale?
If you only have one garage sale in any 12-month period in order to sell used goods, then you typically do not need a seller’s permit. If you plan to hold more than one garage sale, then you should obtain a seller’s license.
California Seller’s Permit Requirement
When applying for a seller’s license, you’ll need to supply the following information:
- Social security number (requirement does not apply to corporate officers)
- Date of birth
- Identification (driver license number, state ID number, passport, military ID)
- Business ID information (corporate number, incorporation date, FEIN number—only applies to corporations and LLCs)
- Email address
- Bank name and location
- Names and addresses of any suppliers
- Name of the person who maintains the account
- Personal references
- Projected average total monthly sales and taxable monthly sales
How Can I Obtain a California Seller’s Permit
You can apply directly through the California Board of Equalization (BOE), which may take a significant amount of time, or you can order a certificate through Seller Permits, which offers fast, easy processing.