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Most businesses starting in Louisiana that are selling a product or offering certain services will need to register for a sales tax license. This is commonly referred to as a seller’s permit, sales tax permit, sales tax number or sales tax registration.
The sales tax license is obtained through the Louisiana Department of Revenue as a part of applying for a Louisiana Revenue Account Number.
Check out the rest of this guide to find out who needs a sales tax license, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit and reporting requirements.
Who needs a sales tax license in Louisiana?
A business must register for a sales tax license in Louisiana when:
- A business has “nexus” (significant presence in the state) such as a retail store, office or warehouse where products are produced, stored and/or delivered
- Occasionally selling items at craft shows, fairs, seminars, conventions, etc in Louisiana
- Employees (including sales representatives or agents) are working in Louisiana
- An online business located in Louisiana is selling taxable products to Louisiana residents
- An out-of-state business selling to Louisiana residents and one of the
- Total sales of tangible personal property to Louisiana residents is $100,000 or more; or
- Having 200 or more transactions to Louisiana residents.
What products and services are taxable in Louisiana?
There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in Louisiana. Common examples include:
- General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
- Titled or registered items like vehicles
Some food items, prescriptions and articles traded in on new items are generally tax-exempt. A full list of tax exempt items is available from the Department of Revenue.
Digital products are taxable in Louisiana.
Most services aren’t taxable in Louisiana, however there are a few exceptions, some of which include:
- Short-term lodging
- Admission or access to amusement, entertainment, recreational or athletic facilities or events
- Printing services
- Laundry, cleaning, pressing and dyeing services
- Repairing tangible personal property like a cell phone repair shop fixing a cracked screen
How to register for a sales tax license in Louisiana
Information needed to register includes:
- Legal Business Name
- Trade name or Doing Business As
- Business Address
- Type of business entity (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, LLC)
- North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Select “None” if the business is registered as a sole proprietorship under the owner’s SSN.
- Names and addresses of owners/officers/members
- Date business activities began or will begin
How much does a sales tax license cost in Louisiana?
There is no cost for a sales tax license in Louisiana.
How long does it take to get a Louisiana sales tax license?
Expect 3-4 weeks to receive a sales tax license in Louisiana.
Do you have to renew your Louisiana sales tax license?
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.
Sales tax reporting
How is sales tax collected?
When a business makes a sale of a taxable product or service, the business charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer. This tax is collected by the business who then sends it to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
Businesses collecting less than $5,000 annually may file by mail, but over $5,000 will file electronically.
How much sales tax is charged?
The sales tax rate that is charged varies depending on the address of the business if the purchase is made or shipped from a business located in the state or where the transaction took place such as a fair or tradeshow.
In addition to the statewide tax, there are additional local sales taxes that may be added. To find the sales tax for your location, see the list of local sales and use tax rates from the Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators.
When are Louisiana sales tax returns due?
The Department of Revenue will determine a filing frequency based on the expected volume of annual sales, which will be monthly, quarterly, or semi-monthly. Generally, a business selling over $500 monthly in taxable sales 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, in which case would move to the next business day.
Even if the business had no sales during the reporting period, a filing is still required indicating no sales occurred.
Sales tax on purchases for resale
A business is able to purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax. The tax liability is passed from the wholesaler or distributor to the retailer who will then charge sales tax to the end user of the item.
Wholesalers and distributors will require a sales tax number, and in many cases require the reseller to fill out the Sales Tax Exemption Certificate (Form R-1042) to document the items being purchased are for resale.
If you have questions about the sales tax license and regulations, the Louisiana Department of Revenue has a helpful guide or can be contacted by calling or visiting:
Baton Rouge Office
617 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
New Orleans Office
1450 Poydras St. Suite 800
New Orleans, LA 70112