Most businesses starting in Minnesota 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.
The sales tax permit is obtained through the Minnesota Department of Revenue as a part of applying for a Minnesota Business Tax ID Number.
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.
Who needs a sales tax permit in Minnesota?
A business must register for a sales tax permit in Minnesota 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 tangible items and/or taxable services in Minnesota
- Employees (including sales representatives or agents) are working in Minnesota
- An online business located in Minnesota is selling taxable products to Minnesota residents
- A remote seller who either:
- Ships 100 or more transactions to Minnesota residents annually or;
- Has 10 or more transactions annually to Minnesota residents totaling more than $100,000
What products and services are taxable in Minnesota?
There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in Minnesota. Common examples include:
- General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
- Titled or registered items like vehicles
Certain manufacturing and agricultural equipment are tax-exempt in addition to baby products, groceries, certain medicines, and medical equipment.
A list of taxable sales is available from the Department of Revenue.
Labor, in most cases, isn’t taxable in Minnesota. For instance, let’s say you broke the screen to your cell phone and take it to a cell phone repair shop to have it fixed. Sales tax would be added to the selling price of the new screen and any additional parts to fix the phone. The labor to replace the screen isn’t taxable. However, a business that makes furniture will indirectly have sales tax on labor. In this instance, let’s say this business is building a dining room table for a customer. Through labor, the pieces of wood are shaped, sanded, and painted to build this piece of furniture. While the labor isn’t directly taxable, sales tax is charged to the final selling price of the table.
Digital products, with the exception of canned software (pre-made software), aren’t taxable.
Most services aren’t taxable in Minnesota, however, there are a few exceptions, some of which include:
- Short-term lodging
- Admissions and amusement fees (health clubs, spas, golf clubs, movies, etc.)
- Commercial building cleaning and maintenance
- Detective, security, and alarm services
- Laundry, dry cleaning, and alterations services
- Landscaping services
- Towing and car detailing
- Pet grooming, boarding, and care services
A full list of taxable services is available from the Department of Revenue.
How to register for a sales tax permit in Minnesota
A sales tax permit can be obtained by registering for a Minnesota Tax ID Number.
Information needed to register includes:
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS, or owner’s Social Security Number if a sole proprietorship with no employees
- Type of business entity: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- The legal name of the and/or DBA name
- Business Address
- North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
- Names, addresses, and SSN of owners/officers/members
- Date business activities began or will begin
- Projected monthly sales
How much does a sales tax permit cost in Minnesota?
There is no cost for a sales tax permit in the state of Minnesota.
How long does it take to get a Minnesota sales tax permit?
It takes only minutes to receive your seven-digit Tax ID Number.
Do you have to renew your Minnesota 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.
How to get a Minnesota Certificate of Exemption
A business can 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 a completed Minnesota Certificate of Exemption (also referred to as a resale certificate or sales tax exemption certificate) to document the items being purchased are for resale.
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 business who then sends it to the Minnesota 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 in the store. When shipping in-state, the sales tax is based on the address of the purchaser.
In addition to the statewide tax, there are additional local sales taxes that may be added by cities and municipalities. To find sales tax rates, see the sales tax rate calculator.
When are Minnesota sales tax returns due?
The Department of Revenue will determine a filing frequency based on the expected sales volume, which will be monthly, quarterly, or annually. Generally, a business collecting over $500 each month 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.
In addition to registering for a sales tax permit, there may be other business licenses needed before starting a business in Minnesota. Learn what business licenses are needed in Minnesota.
If you have questions about the sales tax permit, the Minnesota Department of Revenue has a guide to sales and use taxes in Minnesota or can be contacted by calling 651-282-5225 or 800-657-3605.