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How To Get A Washington Reseller Permit

How To Get A Washington Reseller Permit

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How To Get A Washington Reseller Permit

If you plan to sell retail products in Washington, you’ll need to apply for a Washington Reseller Permit from the Washington Department of Revenue. This permit allows you to purchase goods from wholesalers without paying sales tax on those items.

Learn more about what a Washington Reseller Permit is, how to get one, and more.

Related: How to start a business in Washington

What is a Washington Reseller Permit?

In Washington, when you run a store and buy goods to sell, you usually won’t pay state sales tax on those goods. Instead, you collect sales tax from your customers when they buy these goods from you. You then send this collected tax to the Washington State Department of Revenue.

For example, let’s say you own a store selling art supplies in Washington. When you buy these supplies for your store, you don’t pay sales tax on them because you’re going to sell them to others. But, when a customer buys these supplies from your store, you add sales tax to the price they pay. You keep track of all the sales tax you collect from sales, and typically at the end of the month, you send it to the state.

It’s important to note that the reseller permit is only for inventory that will be resold and is not intended for the tax-free purchase of items used in normal business operations, such as paper, pens, etc.

How to Obtain a Reseller Permit in Washington

Before a business starts selling products or providing taxable services, it must first get a Washington Sales Tax Number from the Washington Department of Revenue. The Sales Tax Number is sometimes called a seller’s permit, sales tax number, or sales tax license. After securing a Sales Tax Number, the Reseller Permit is available by:

  • Logging in to dor.wa.gov.
  • On the Department of Revenue Services page, click on “Print your reseller permit”
  • On the Select Customer page, select your business, then click Next
  • On the Select Account page, select the excise tax account, then click Confirm
  • Last, in the Active Permit table, click the Print Permit link.

A new browser will open and display the reseller permit. Use the browser menu to print or download a PDF file of the reseller permit.

Washington Reseller Permit FAQs

How much does a Washington Reseller Permit cost?

There is no cost for a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate in Washington.

Does a Washington Reseller Permit Expire?

Washington Reseller Permits are generally good for four years. 

Permits for contractors, businesses open less than 12 months, businesses with no income reported in the last 12 months, businesses with a non-reporting status within the last 12 months, and businesses that have failed to file tax returns in the last 12 months are only good for two years.

How often is Washington sales tax due?

Most new businesses in Washington are set up to file and pay sales and use tax monthly, but depending on the amount of tax collected, your business may have a quarterly filing frequency instead.

Where do I file the Washington Reseller Permit?

In Washington, the Reseller Permit is not filed with any government agency. Instead, it is kept by the seller (the business selling the merchandise for resale).

Are sellers required to accept Reseller Permits?

Sellers are not required to accept a state resale certificate for tax-exempt purchases, however, most do.  If the vendor doesn’t accept the certificate, the buyer will have to pay sales tax on the merchandise being purchased.  In most cases, a credit will be provided when filing the Washington sales tax filing. 

What steps should a business take to accept a Reseller Permit?

When a business is presented with a resale certificate, the seller has the burden of proof to verify that the buyer’s information is correct and to keep these records. Failing to verify this information may result in the seller being liable for Washington sales taxes.

Before accepting a Reseller Permit from a buyer, the following steps should be taken.

– Review the Reseller Permit to make sure it is completely filled out. 
– Save a printout of the buyer’s information from the Department of Revenue’s Business Lookup Tool.
– Verify the purchaser’s Washington Reseller Permit is valid by using the Reseller Permit Verification Service.   The Department of Revenue recommends verifying reseller permit information at least once per year.
– Sellers are also responsible for examining the certificate and evaluating whether the goods sold are reasonably consistent with the purchaser’s line of business.  For example, if the buyer’s business is a car dealership but wants to purchase office supplies tax-free, the seller should investigate further.  

Be sure to also keep a file of your customer’s Reseller Permits in case of an audit. 

Is a Reseller Permit the same as a Sales Tax Number?

The Washington Sales Tax Number (also referred to as a sales tax permit or seller’s permit) and Reseller Permit are commonly thought of as the same thing, but they are actually two separate documents. The Sales Tax Number allows a business to sell and collect sales tax from taxable products and services in the state, while the Reseller Permit allows the retailer to make tax-exempt purchases for products they intend to resell.

Author

  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

How To Get A Washington Reseller Permit

How To Get A Washington Reseller Permit

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