Seller's Permit

Businesses in California that sell tangible personal property in the state are liable for the collection of sales tax and must apply to the Board of Equalization for a seller’s permit for each location in the state. If a business changes ownership or business locations, it must obtain a new permit.

To file for a seller’s permit – whether selling as retail or wholesale – the registrant must complete an Application for a Seller’s Permit and Registration as a Retailer (Form BOE-400-SPA). The registrant can file either by mail or in person. When applicable, the BOE will forward a copy of the application to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) to assist in the registration of the employer for unemployment tax purposes.

Businesses using tangible personal property in California purchased for use in the state, without the payment of sales tax, are liable for use tax. A company would most commonly be subject to use tax on property that is purchased outside California and used in the state, or inventory that is purchased without tax and then converted to business or personal use. Generally, a business can report use tax by reporting the purchase price of the property on line 2 of its sales tax return. If a business does not need a sales tax permit, it must register for a use tax permit if it incurs a use tax liability on a regular basis. To determine if a business needs a use tax permit, a company representative should contact one of the Board of Equalization offices listed at the end of this section.

There is no fee for obtaining a sales or use tax permit. However, the BOE may require a security deposit for some corporations. Notification will be given through a Notice of Security Requirements.

Details about seller’s permits may be obtained from the following:

Your California Seller’s Permit: Your Rights and Responsibilities
Under the Sales and Use Tax Law

California Board of Equalization
Customer and Taxpayer Service
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0001
Toll-free telephone within the United States: (800) 400-7115
Tel: (916) 445-6464
Fax: (916) 322-2015
Website: http://www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/sutprograms.htm

Forms and References

Application for a Seller’s Permit as a Retailer – Individuals/Partnerships/Corporations/Organizations (BOE 400-SPA) : http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/boe400spa.pdf