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How To Register For A Florida Seller’s Permit

How To Register For A Florida Seller’s Permit

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How To Register For A Florida Seller’s Permit

When starting a business in Florida, there are several registrations to take care of. The most common is the Florida seller’s permit, which is sometimes referred to as a retailer certificate, sales tax license, sales and use tax number, or sales tax registration.

Keep reading to learn who needs a sales tax permit, what kinds of products and services are taxable, how to register, and what you need to do for reporting.

Related: Guide to starting a business in Florida

Who needs a Seller’s Permit in Florida?

A business must register as a retailer in Florida when:

  • A business has sales tax nexus. Nexus means having a physical presence in the state, such as having a physical location like a retail store or office or using a warehouse or fulfillment center to store inventory.
  • Selling taxable items at retail
  • Repairing or altering tangible personal property
  • Renting or leasing property for six months or less (such as hotels, apartments, mobile home parks, RV parks, etc.)
  • Charging admission to any place of amusement, sport, or recreation
  • Manufacturing or producing goods for retail sales
  • Selling service warranty contracts
  • Operating vending or amusement machines
  • Providing taxable services (such as interior commercial cleaning services or commercial pest control services)

What products and services are taxable in Florida?

Physical Products

There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in Florida. Common examples include:

  • General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
  • Titled or registered items like vehicles

Groceries, prescriptions, and some medical devices are tax-exempt.

Digital Products

Digital products aren’t taxable in Florida.

Services

Most services aren’t taxable in Florida, however, there are a few exceptions.

  • Short-term rentals
  • Pest control services for nonresidential buildings
  • Interior cleaning services for nonresidential buildings
  • Repairs or alterations of tangible personal property
  • Detective services
  • Protection services
  • Security alarm system monitoring services

How to register for a Florida seller’s permit

A seller’s permit can be obtained by registering through the Florida Department of Revenue or by mailing Form DR-1 (Florida Business Tax Application)

Information needed to register includes:

Sales tax reporting

How is sales tax collected?

When a business sells a taxable product or service, it charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer. The company collects this tax and sends it to the Florida Department of Revenue.

How much sales tax is charged?

If the purchase is made at a store or in a mobile location, the sales tax rate varies depending on where the sale took place in Florida. In addition to the statewide tax, several counties have an additional discretionary sales surtax. When shipping in-state, the sales tax is based on the purchaser’s address.

The Florida Department of Revenue has information on sales tax rates by location to determine how much sales tax to charge.

When are Florida sales tax returns due?

The Department of Revenue will determine a filing frequency based on the expected annual sales volume, which will be monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually. Generally, a business collecting over $12,000 annually in sales taxes will file monthly.

Filings are due the 20th day of the month following the reporting period unless the 20th falls on a weekend or federal holiday, which would move to the next business day.

Even if the business had no sales during the reporting period, a filing indicating no sales is still required.

Florida Seller’s Permit FAQs

How much does a Florida Seller’s Permit cost?

There is no cost for a sales tax permit in the state of Florida when registering online, however, there is a $5 fee if applying by mail.

How long does it take to get a Florida Seller’s Permit?

Expect 2-3 business days to receive a Florida Certificate of Registration (Form DR-11) when registering online or 7-10 business days when applying by mail.

Do you have to renew your Florida Seller’s Permit?

The sales tax permit is a one-time registration, and no renewals are needed. Be mindful that if any information about the business changes, such as the mailing address, additional locations, or change in ownership, those changes need to be updated with the Department of Revenue.

Is a business license the same thing as a Seller’s Permit?

No – A business license and a sales tax permit serve different purposes and are not the same.

A business license authorizes you to conduct business within a particular locality, ensuring compliance with local regulations. Conversely, a sales tax permit enables your business to legally collect sales tax on sales, which you then remit to the state government.

Most businesses require both a license and a seller’s permit.

Related: What business licenses are needed in Florida

How do I get a wholesale license in Florida?

A business can purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax. The tax liability is passed from the distributor to the retailer, who will then charge sales tax to the end-user of the item.

Upon applying for a sales tax permit, the business will also receive a Florida Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax – Form DR-13 (also referred to as a wholesale license or sales tax exemption certificate). This certificate will allow the business to buy or rent goods and services tax-free if they are resold.

More details on collecting sales taxes are available from the Florida Department of Revenue.

If you have questions about the sales tax permit, the Florida Department of Revenue can be contacted by calling 850-488-6800 or visiting a local service center.

How To Register For A Florida Seller’s Permit

How To Register For A Florida Seller’s Permit

12 Responses

  1. So I have a small business in Florida. I would consider myself an Independent Rep. I sell a few products to contractors in a years job part time. How do i handle the tax exempt certificate. Right now I have a product I am buying out of state and selling to a company who is working in another state on a jobsite.

    So I don’t want the supplier to charge me tax and not charge tax on my customer? How do I need to handle this transaction?

    1. Hi John

      To start out with, you will want to be sure you have registered for a seller’s permit in Florida – https://startup101.com/how-to-register-for-a-sales-tax-permit-in-florida. Once that is done, you can log into your account and print the Annual Resale Certificate. This certificate should be requested by the vendor you are purchasing products from. https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/taxesfees/pages/annual_resale_certificate_sut.aspx

      That covers you not paying sales tax on the products you are buying to resell.

      Then to not have your customer not pay sales tax is a little more complicated as each state has a different reporting threshold. In general, most states don’t require reporting sales from a different state if the business has under 200 transactions or is selling less than $100k each year. So, you will want to check the state you are selling with to verify their rules. https://www.avalara.com/us/en/learn/guides/state-by-state-guide-economic-nexus-laws.html. Technically, if you don’t charge sales tax, the company you are selling to is typically supposed to document the use taxes they didn’t pay to their state, but that isn’t an issue for you to worry about.

      To get information straight from the source, you can also contact the Florida Department of Revenue https://floridarevenue.com/Pages/contact.aspx

    1. Hi Charlotte – This is a complicated area, and you will want to talk with the Social Security office to get specific information pertaining to your situation. The SSI program does encourage people to get off of benefits and you are allowed to try a business through what’s called a Trial Work Period (TWP) to see if it works before reducing income. Here is some more information that may be helpful – https://startup101.com/can-you-own-business-on-disability/

      I hope this helps!
      Greg

  2. If I want to start selling handmade items occasionally at local fair in Florida. Do have to get a sellers permit.

    1. Hi Debra – Assuming the product that you are selling is taxable (which almost are), then you will need to register for a Seller’s Permit.

      Thanks!
      Greg

    1. The reseller permit is optional, but if your supplier asks for one, you are able to skip paying the sales tax, freeing up cash. The customer you sell to will be paying sales tax on the retail amount.

      I’m assuming you are physically operating in Florida, and if so you are required to get a seller’s permit. This registers your business and sets up the account where you send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue.

      Hope this helps!
      Greg

  3. I will be going to Florida to sell some handmade items at a fair for one weekend only. Can I apply for a temporary seller’s permit for the month? If not, will I have to keep filing for zero sales after my event every month? And where could I apply for the Florida seller’s permit? Thanks.

    1. Hi Michelle – Unfortunately, the state of Florida no longer offers temporary seller’s permits. You will have to get an account created to report the sales. Once you have reported all of the sales you made and you are no longer going to be selling in Florida, you can inactivate the account so you do not have to continue to file $0 returns.

      You can fill out the application to get an account created online at https://taxapps.floridarevenue.com/taxregistration.

      Thanks!
      Greg

  4. My LLC formed in Delawarebut I live and operate my business from Florida, I do selling stuff on Amazon. Should I get the resale permit from Florida?

    1. Since you are operating from Florida as a Delaware LLC, you are technically supposed to register as a Foreign LLC with the state of Florida – https://dos.fl.gov/sunbiz/forms/limited-liability-company/#flllcforms. Then with the registration, you would be able to get a resale permit from the Department of Revenue.

      I’m not saying this is your case, but it’s an important topic to bring up for others, is that there is a lot of promotion of “best places to form an LLC” with Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming at the top of the list. These states are popular becuase of certain business friendly laws, lower taxes, or privacy benefits and for some types of businesses (and Amazon sellers can be one), it can be beneficial. The problem is that it can get really complex and expensive (multiple entity filings, tax forms, income taxes, etc.), and really needs to be guided by an accountant and maybe attorney.

      Hope that helps, but let me know if you have any other questions.
      Greg

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