If you’re starting a business in Florida selling a product or offering certain services, you’ll likely need to register for a seller’s permit, also referred to as a sales tax permit, sales tax license, or sales tax registration. Read on to determine who needs a sales tax permit, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit, and more.
Who Needs a Seller’s Permit in Florida?
If you own a business in Florida, you need to register as a retailer if any of the following conditions apply to you:
- You have sales tax nexus in the state, which means having a physical presence in Florida. This could include having a physical location like a store or office or using a warehouse or fulfillment center to store inventory.
- You sell taxable items at retail or repair or alter tangible personal property.
- You rent or lease property for six months or less, such as hotels, apartments, mobile home parks, RV parks, and so on.
- You charge admission to any place of amusement, sport, or recreation.
- You manufacture or produce goods for retail sales, sell service warranty contracts, operate vending or amusement machines, or provide taxable services such as interior commercial cleaning services or commercial pest control services.
If any of these conditions apply to your business in Florida, make sure you register as a retailer to stay compliant with the state’s laws and regulations.
Are Temporary Vendors Required to Get a Seller’s Permit?
When planning on being a vendor at a convention, seasonal festival, craft fair, or any other temporary event in Florida, you will need a seller’s permit as well. Florida state law requires all vendors to get a seller’s permit from the Florida Department of Revenue. This applies to vendors who come from out of state too. It’s important to work with a legal expert in Florida to make sure you’re following all the rules and regulations.
Seller’s Permit vs Resale Certificate
Seller’s permits and resale certificates are sometimes mixed up and used interchangeably. The two documents are very different and serve separate purposes.
A seller’s permit is what you need to be able to sell goods and collect sales tax in your state. If you own a company that sells products, you need to have a seller’s permit to operate legally. This isn’t optional.
A resale certificate allows you to buy products without paying sales tax, as long as you sell them to customers again. If you have a company and buy products from suppliers to sell to customers, a resale certificate will help you save money by avoiding sales tax on those goods. This one is optional and just for saving you money by avoiding double taxation on the products you sell.
How to Obtain a Florida Seller’s Permit?
To obtain a seller’s permit in Florida, you must fill out the Florida Business Tax Application (DR-1) first. You can choose to file online or download the forms to fill out and send them by mail or deliver them in person to the Department of Revenue. You can also take them to a taxpayer service center.
The info you’ll need to provide on the application will depend on what type of business you’re running and what activities you’re involved in.
For instance, if you’re the owner of a sole proprietorship without employees, you’ll need to give your Social Security Number (SSN). If you’re a corporate entity, you won’t need to provide your SSN, but instead, you will provide the business’s Employer Identification Number (EIN). The permit may also come with a state tax ID number, but that will not replace the EIN you need for federal tax purposes.
How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a Seller’s Permit?
Business owners incur a lot of expenses when getting started. Fortunately, Florida doesn’t charge any fees to apply or to receive a seller’s permit, unlike other licenses and permits. Also, a seller’s permit does not expire (unless you don’t use it for more than a year). Keep in mind, if your permit gets canceled, you’ll need to get a new one before you can start doing business in Florida again.
You may need to pay sales tax on the goods or services you sell once you have your seller’s permit, so be sure to understand your tax obligations as a business owner. (This is where the resale certificate comes into play.)
How to Report Sales Tax in Florida?
To report sales tax in Florida, you need to file a sales and use tax return with the Florida Department of Revenue. You can do this two ways; online through the Florida Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) or by mail.
How to File and Pay Sales Tax?
When you file your Florida Sales and Use Tax Return, you’ll also need to pay the tax you owe. You can also do this either online through the Florida TAP or by mail using a check or money order.
How Is Sales Tax Calculated?
Sales tax in Florida is calculated as a percentage of the sales price of taxable goods or services. The current tax rate is 6% for the state as of 2023, but there may be additional local taxes depending on where the sale takes place.
When Are Florida Sales Tax Returns Due?
Sales tax returns are due on the 1st day of the month following the end of the reporting period. For example, if your reporting period ends on March 31st, your sales tax return is due on April 1st.
If the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the return and payment are due on the next business day. Be sure to file your returns and pay your taxes on time to avoid penalties and interest charges.
Tips for Filing Your Sales Tax Return
Keep Track of Your Sales: Write down everything you sell and how much sales tax you collect. This will help you fill out your sales tax return correctly and avoid getting in trouble with Uncle Sam.
Figure Out How Often You Need to File: Depending on how much sales tax you collect, you may need to file every month, every quarter, or once a year. Make sure you know when you need to file so you don’t miss any deadlines.
Check Your Math: Even the slightest mistake in your calculations can lead to big problems later on with your return. Double-check your numbers to make sure you’re doing everything right.
Use the Correct Form: Different forms are used for different kinds of businesses. Make sure you’re using the right form for your business so you don’t run into any problems.
File and Pay on Time: If you don’t file your sales tax return or pay your sales tax on time, you could end up owing more money in fees and interest. File and pay on time to avoid these extra charges.
Tax Laws Are Complex but doola Makes it Easier
Obtaining a seller’s permit in Florida is a requirement for any business that wants to sell taxable goods or services in the state. Compliance with state regulations is not only a legal obligation, but also a way to ensure smooth operations for your business. Navigating the complexities of sales tax laws and regulations as a new business owner is tough, but seeking the help of professional bookkeeping services can make the process much smoother.
doola specializes in helping businesses with financial management and bookkeeping. By working with doola, you can gain access to expert guidance and assistance with managing your sales tax compliance, allowing you to focus on other aspects of running the business.
How long does it take to get a seller’s permit in Florida?
It may take up to two weeks to receive a seller’s permit in Florida if you apply online, but the processing time can be twice as long if it’s done through the mail.
What is the difference between a seller’s permit and a business permit?
A seller’s permit is different from a business permit, as the former allows a business to sell goods and collect sales tax while the latter permits a company to operate legally in a specific location or jurisdiction.
Are resellers tax-exempt in Florida?
If you’re a reseller in Florida, you can use a resale certificate to avoid paying sales tax on goods that you plan to resell. This exemption only applies if the purchased goods are not for personal use. You’ll need to apply for the certificate and use it at the time of purchase to be exempt.