Many states, including Pennsylvania, require individuals and enterprises doing business in their jurisdictions to acquire a seller's permit. Though Pennsylvania doesn't explicitly call its sales and use tax permit a “seller's permit," the function is the same, giving the permit holder the authority to collect sales tax, which is then paid to the state.
Below you'll find more information about how to get a seller's permit in Pennsylvania so you can start selling goods and services in full compliance with state law.
Pennsylvania Seller's Permit Applicability
Pennsylvania imposes a sales and use tax on “the retail sale, consumption, rental or use of tangible personal property" in the state; digital goods are included within this definition. Pennsylvania also taxes some business services, particularly those that include building, repairing, and/or maintaining a taxable item.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, “any entity making taxable sales or performing taxable services in Pennsylvania must be licensed to collect and remit sales tax."
The state does exempt some items from the tax, including candy and gum, food that is not ready to eat, most clothing, and sales for resale, among others.
How to Obtain a Seller's Permit in Pennsylvania
To obtain a seller's permit, you must file Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration Form (PA-100), which may be submitted either online or by printing out the form and mailing it to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Through this form, you are registering your business with the state, so you need information such as your enterprise's name and address, date of formation, business structure, and owner/shareholder information.
Note that Pennsylvania requires you to renew your seller's permit every five years.
Cost for a Pennsylvania Seller's Permit
There is no fee for applying for a seller's permit, although if you are registering for, say, corporate taxes at the same time, some charges may apply.
Pennsylvania Resale Certificate
If you are already registered to collect sales tax in Pennsylvania and you intend to purchase certain items only to resell them, Pennsylvania permits you to do so tax-free by filling out a Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate (REV-1220). You may use the form to make several purchases from the same vendor, but you must have a separate certificate for each vendor from whom you plan to purchase items.
If you are an out-of-state seller, you may use your state's reseller's permit number to buy items from Pennsylvania retailers tax-free.
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has more information about the process of getting properly set up to collect and pay sales tax within the state in its publication Retailer's Information (REV-717).
There's no question that setting up a business requires a lot of meticulous planning, so if you'd like some support, consider working with a legal document preparation service to get you squared away with state sales tax laws and help free your mind of any worry that you've missed an important step in the process.