How to Get a Seller’s License
Are you interested in getting a seller’s license?
Perhaps you want to resell items in person, at your local farmer’s market, boutique, or maybe you want to open up an online store?
Maybe you want to sell your items on Etsy or eBay?
Regardless of what and where you want to sell, whether it’s in person or online, here in California you’re going to need both a seller’s permit and a business license as well as a few other things.
Here’s what you need to do and get:
Small Business Registration
Before you apply for your permit and business license, you need to get a legal business name. If you’re doing business as a sole proprietorship, meaning it’s really just you running this business, you can register your business name as a DBA, or Doing Business As with the county clerk. You can go in and file or do it online. Get the forms here, fill them out and submit, and now you’re one step closer to getting your business off the ground.
Register to do Business
Before we talk about permits and licenses, you need to first make sure you are registered to do business. This means filing the proper paperwork with the secretary of state office. This is easy to do. Go to the IRS website and complete the online form, called Form SS-4. It takes a minute to enter your business information into the IRS database. Once verified, you receive a nine-digit tax identification number. This is your federal EIN. (This may also just be your social security number if you plan on staying a sole proprietor operation. But, you still need to register.)
A seller’s permit gives you the authority to make sales within California. Anyone who is engaged in business in California and intends to sell or lease tangible personal (property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail) needs a seller’s permit. Visit the California government State Board of Equalization website for more FAQs about this. Once you’ve read up on this, you can register for your seller’s permit online. (You can also go into their office and register there, but this saves time and money). The seller’s permit is free.
Now you need to figure out which type of business license (or licenses) you need. Again, your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office or Board of Equalization (BOE) can tell you this. Once you have read up on business licenses, visit this state website and find the right business license for your business. Once you know the licenses required for your business to legally operate, follow the BOE or professional industry guidelines. Business licenses do cost, and usually have an annual or bi-annual renewal.
While this is only a basic overview, what you now have is a simple education on getting a seller’s permit and business license to sell or resell what you want! You’re one step closer to getting a little more independent and selling what you love.