How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in North Dakota

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Quick Reference

Most businesses starting in North Dakota 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 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 North Dakota

Who needs a sales tax permit in North Dakota?

A business must register for a sales and use tax permit in North Dakota when:

  • A business has sales tax nexus (also referred to as economic 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.
  • Making retail sales and/or taxable services in North Dakota (includes occasionally selling items at craft shows, fairs, seminars, shows, etc.)
  • Employees (including sales representatives or agents) are working in North Dakota
  • An online business located in North Dakota is selling taxable products to North Dakota residents
  • A remote seller shipping over $100,000 annually in taxable products to North Dakota residents.

What products and services are taxable in North Dakota?

Physical products

There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in the state of North Dakota. Common examples include:

  • General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
  • Titled or registered items like vehicles

Prescription drugs, some agricultural supplies, and medical equipment are some items that are tax exempt in North Dakota.

Labor, in most cases, isn’t taxable in North Dakota. 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

Digital products are tax exempt in North Dakota.

Services

Most services aren’t taxable in North Dakota, however, there are a few exceptions, some of which include:

  • Short-term lodging
  • Admission tickets for recreational activities
  • Rental or leasing of tangible personal property

How to register for a sales tax permit in North Dakota

A sales tax permit can be obtained by registering online with the North Dakota Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) or by mailing in the Sales and Use Tax Permit Application (Form SNF 59507).

Information needed to register includes the:

  • Legal business name
  • Doing Business As name if different from legal name
  • Business location address and mailing address
  • Type of business entity: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, or owner’s Social Security Number if a sole proprietorship with no employees
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
  • Name, address, title, phone number, social security number, and percentage ownerships of owners/officers/members
  • Expected date business will begin collecting sales tax

How much does a sales tax permit cost in North Dakota?

There is no cost for a sales tax permit in North Dakota.

How long does it take to get a North Dakota sales tax permit?

Most permits are issued immediately when filing online and 2-3 weeks when applying by mail.

Do you have to renew your North Dakota 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 Office of State Tax Commissioner.

How to get a North Dakota Certificate of Resale

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 North Dakota Certificate of Resale (Form SFN 21950) (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. The business collects this tax and then sends it to the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner.

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, an additional gross receipts tax may be added by cities and counties that have adopted home rule. To find local sales tax rates, see the sales tax rates by location from the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner.

When are North Dakota sales tax returns due?

The Office of State Tax Commissioner will determine a filing frequency based on the expected sales volume, which will be monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Filings are due the last day of the month following the reporting period, unless the last day of the month 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.

Questions

If you have questions about the sales tax permit, the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner has a guide to sales taxes in North Dakota or can be contacted by calling 701-328-1241 or email taxregistration@nd.gov.

Remote offices are also available to answer questions as well:

Dickinson, ND
Office of State Tax Commissioner
135 Sims St., Suite 212
Dickinson, ND 58601-5148

Fargo, ND
Office of State Tax Commissioner
4342 15th Ave S, Suite 205
Fargo, ND 58103-1100

Grand Forks, ND
Office of State Tax Commissioner
PO Box 14435
Grand Forks, ND 58208-4435

Minot, ND
Office of State Tax Commissioner
1600 2nd Ave SW, Suite 3
Minot, ND 58701-3459

Williston, ND
Office of State Tax Commissioner
2112 4th Avenue W Suite 103
PO Box 4502
Williston ND 58802-4502

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