How to Register for a Seller’s Permit in Florida
Most businesses starting in Florida selling a product or offering certain services will need to register for a seller’s permit. This is commonly referred to as a sales tax permit, sales tax license, sales & use tax number, or sales tax registration.
Check out the rest of this guide to determine who needs a sales tax permit, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit, and reporting requirements.
Also See: 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 (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
- Repairs or alterations of tangible personal property
- Detective services
- Protection services
- Security alarm system monitoring services
How to register for a Seller’s Permit in Florida
A sales tax 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:
- Beginning date of taxable business activity
- Business name, physical address & telephone number
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS, or the owner’s Social Security Number if a sole proprietorship with no employees
- Type of business entity: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Charter number (number provided by the Flordia Department of State for corporations and LLCs)
- 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
- Number of employees and their date of hire
Sales tax reporting
How is sales tax collected?
When a business sells a taxable product or service, the business charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer. This tax is collected by the company 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 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 is still required indicating no sales.
How much does a Seller’s Permit cost in Florida?
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?
In addition to registering for a sales tax permit, there may be other business licenses needed before starting a business 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 that good or service is 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.
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?
To start out with, you will want to be sure you have registered for a seller’s permit in Florida – https://startingyourbusiness.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
I am worried about being on SSI and how getting a seller’s permit might affect my benefits.
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://startingyourbusiness.com/can-you-own-business-on-disability/
I hope this helps!