Sales Tax 101 Sales Tax Permits WA

How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in Washington State

by Mark Faggiano

Register Sales Tax License Washington

For more information about collecting and remitting sales tax in Washington, check out Washington Sales Tax Resources.

1. Who needs a sales tax permit in Washington?
From the Washington State Department of Revenue website:

  • Generally, a retail sale is the sale of tangible personal property. It is also the sale of services such as installation, repair, cleaning, altering, improving, construction, and decorating. Other services include improving real or personal property, amusement and recreational activities, lawn maintenance, and physical fitness activities.
  • Retail sales tax includes the state and local components of the tax.
  • Sales tax amounts collected are considered trust funds and must be remitted to the Department of Revenue.
  • The seller is liable to the Department of Revenue for sales tax, whether or not it is collected.
  • Use tax is paid by the consumer when the retail sales tax was not collected by the seller/service provider.
  • Businesses that make a purchase for resale must provide a reseller permit to the seller. If not, the seller must charge the buyer retail sales tax on the total purchase.
  • Businesses also pay the retail sales tax on purchases of items for their own use (such as supplies or equipment) that will not be resold in the regular course of business.

Similarly, when a business purchases a retailing service for its own use, it must pay sales tax on the purchase.

2. How do you register for a sales tax permit in Washington?
The state of Washington has a website specifically for attaining your business license and permits, including sales tax. Head to the Business License Application to get started.

If you’d rather do things the old-fashioned paper way, first download and print out the Business License Application. Gather up your applicable fees (the state of Washington requires a $19 non-refundable fee for every business registered, but not necessarily for sales tax) and send everything to:

State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
1-800-451-7985

3. What information do you need to register or a sales tax permit in Washington?

–          Purpose of application

–          Ownership structure

–          Business name

–          Owners & spouses

–          Business info including location, business activities, bank name, etc.

–          Employment/Elective Coverage

4. How much does it cost to apply for a sales tax permit in Washington?
If you’re registering your business for the first time, it will cost $19. However, sales tax alone doesn’t necessarily cost anything. Other business registration fees may apply. Contact each state’s individual department of revenue for more about registering your business.

5. How long does it take to receive your Washington sales tax permit?
If you file online, it will be 1 to 2 days for your application to go through. It may take up to 21 days if you file by mail, however.

6. Do you have to renew your Washington sales tax permit?
Business licenses must be renewed in Washington state.

From the website:
License expiration date
An expiration date is printed on the top right-hand corner of your Business License document. Business Licensing Service will send you a renewal notice approximately 45 days before your license expires. It’s your responsibility to renew on time, whether you receive the renewal form or not.

Would you prefer a tax professional handle your sales tax registration?

Fill out our State Registrations form and we’ll put you in touch with a vetted sales tax pro.

  • Nil

    We’re FBA seller from NJ. Now trying to register for WA Sale Tax permit,
    we’re an LLC, Washington says we need to register LLC before we can get
    sale tax permit. Need to list registered agent physically located in
    Washington state on application and have them sign. Has anyone else have
    to go similar experience or is there any other way to resolve this?

  • We haven’t talked to a seller going through your specific situation, but we have talked to sellers in similar quandaries, and they’ve had luck calling the state department of revenue, explaining the situation, and asking for an override for that requirement. We can’t guarantee that will work, but it’s a good next step and shows that you are trying to comply with the law.

  • Pingback: How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in Every State()

  • EBH

    I would guess that since you just have a nexus in WA, then you don’t need to register the LLC in the state of WA since technically you are not doing business in the state of WA. Amazon is doing business in WA and would need to register w/ WA, but you having inventory in their warehouse implies you just have a nexus in WA.

    This article explains it: http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/03/register-business-in-another-state.html

    At least that’s how I’m looking at this as a seller in PA with nexus in WA. Anybody else have thoughts?

  • Pingback: Which States Charge Sales Tax Based on Click-Through Nexus?()

  • Pingback: How to Use a Washington Resale Certificate()

  • Pingback: Registering Your Business in Every FBA State()

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