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Business Licenses - Seller's Permit Information

Need a Seller's Permit?  Getting One Has Never Been Easier

If you are in business, you may need a Seller’s Permit from the State Board of Equalization. It’s easy to apply – you can visit a Board office or apply by mail. Your choices are explained below.

You need a permit...

Generally, you must obtain a seller’s permit if you are engaged in business in California and sell or lease merchandise, vehicles, or other tangible personal property that is subject to sales or use tax. Retailers and wholesalers are required to obtain a permit, as are persons who make temporary sales – such as sales made at swap meets and fairs, where a temporary permit is normally required.

In fact, making taxable sales without a valid permit is a misdemeanor under California’s Sales and Use Tax Law and is subject to fines and penalties.

As a retailer, you must report sales or use tax based on your sales, leases, and rentals. However, if you have a valid seller’s permit, you can be reimbursed by your customers for taxes due on your transactions.

You can apply…

  1. By Mail: Call the Board’s toll-free number, 800-400-7115, to request an Express Registration package. Normally, materials will be mailed to you by the second business day following your call.
  2. In Person: Stop by your nearest Board office. We’ll ask for information about your business – estimated income and expenses, for example, and about yourself – your social security and driver’s license number. If you purchased your business, we’ll want to know the name and permit number of the former owner. Normally, you’ll have your permit the same day.

Permits are issued free of charge. However, depending on your type of business, you may be asked for a security deposit to ensure payment of taxes.

If you have questions...

The best way to find out whether sales and use tax applies to your transactions is to contact the nearest Board of Equalization office. Staff will be glad to answer your questions and requests for advice. However, for your protection, it is best to get tax advice in writing. Not only will that give us more information on which to base our advice, it may protect you from owing tax, penalty, or interest charges if we should give you erroneous advice. For this relief to apply, a request must be in writing, identify the taxpayer to whom the advice applies, and fully describe the facts and circumstances of the transaction.

For General Tax Information Call 1-800-400-7115

Sacramento Headquarters
450 North Street
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0001
Phone: 916-445-6464
Redding Office
391 Hemsted Drive
P.O. Box 492529
Redding, CA 96049-2529
Phone: 530-224-4729