Florida requires entities “engaged with activities associated with a tax or fee" to obtain a sales tax license to conduct business in the state. With a Florida Department of Revenue sales tax license, your business is set up to collect and remit sales taxes to the state.
Florida sales tax license applicability
Many different types of business activities fall into the state's extremely broad definition of those requiring a Florida sales tax license, including:
- Retail or wholesale sale of products or services
- Sale of products or goods from nonpermanent locations, such as flea markets or craft shows
- Sale of products or goods by mail order or internet
- Rental or leasing of commercial real estate
- Billing of admission or membership fees
- Repair or alteration of consumer products or equipment
The Florida Business Tax Application (DR-1) lists all of the types of activities that require a state sales tax license, so be sure to review the categories carefully to determine whether your business needs one.
While Florida does not have a specific sales tax license for special events, those selling products or goods at various special events, such as festivals and fairs, usually need a Florida sales tax permit.
How to obtain a Florida sales tax license
To apply for a Florida sales tax license, you may use the online form or download Form DR-1 and submit it to the Department of Revenue or a taxpayer service center. There is no fee to register for a Florida sales tax license.
The information you must provide on the application depends on the kind of business entity you are registering. Still, generally, you need the business's name, physical address, telephone number, and employer identification number (EIN).
Once granted, your permit remains valid indefinitely unless your business hasn't been active for more than a year, in which case you must reapply. While you have an active permit, you should keep the Department of Revenue up to date on all of your business's vital information, such as an address, type of entity, or closure.
Florida annual resale tax certificate
If your business buys or rents property or services that will be resold or rerented, an annual resale certificate allows you to avoid paying taxes upon the purchase or rental. You are then required to collect sales tax on the items when they are resold or rerented.
For instance, with an annual resale certificate, a jewelry maker may purchase beads, clasps, chains, and any other materials used in creating jewelry tax-free but must then collect sales tax when selling the completed items.
Note that if the property or services you are buying or renting will be used for your business, they are not exempt from sales tax when purchasing or renting them. For example, dishes and silverware are generally taxable when a restaurant owner purchases them for use in the establishment.
The Florida Department of Revenue makes annual resale certificates available online in November of each year.
Other required Florida taxes
In addition to state sales tax, some Florida counties also apply transient rental taxes on certain accommodations and discretionary sales surtaxes to many transactions at rates that vary by county. Note that the surtax rate applied is that of the county in which the product or service is delivered; in the case of motor vehicles and motor homes, the purchaser's home county determines the rate.
If you're ready to get your business set up for Florida taxes, you can do so yourself or with the help of a professional, such as an online legal service company, which can guide you through the process.