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Most businesses starting in Florida that are selling a product or offering certain services will need to register for a sales tax permit. This is commonly referred to as a seller’s permit, sales tax license, sales tax number or sales tax registration.
Check out the rest of this guide to find out who needs a sales tax permit, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit and reporting requirements.
Who needs a sales tax permit in Florida?
A business must register as a retailer in Florida when:
- Selling taxable items at retail
- Repairing or altering tangible personal property
- Renting or leasing property for six-months or less (ex. 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 (ex. interior commercial cleaning services, or commercial pest control services)
What products and services are taxable in Florida?
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 aren’t taxable in Florida.
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
- Detective services
- Protection services
- Security alarm system monitoring services
How to register for a sales tax permit in Florida
Information needed to register includes:
- Beginning date of taxable business activity
- Business name, address & phone number
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), or SSN if a sole proprietorship with no employees
- Type of business entity (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, LLC)
- Names and addresses of owners/officers/members
- Description of what products or services are being sold
- North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
- Projected monthly sales
- Employee information
How much does a sales tax permit cost in Florida?
There is no cost for a sales tax permit in Florida when registering online, however there is a $5 fee if applying by mail.
How long does it take to get a Florida sales tax permit?
Expect 2-3 business days to receive a sales tax permit when registering online or 7-10 business days when applying by mail.
Do you have to renew your Florida sales tax 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.
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 Florida Department of Revenue.
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. If the seller is based out of the state, the sales tax rate is based on the buyer’s address.
In addition to the statewide tax, several counties have an additional discretionary sales surtax. 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 volume of annual sales, 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, 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 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. This certificate will allow the business to buy or rent goods and services tax free, if that good or service is resold.
More details on collecting sales taxes is 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 by visiting a local service center.