There are many persistent myths swirling around sales tax, and we try our best to set the record straight every chance we get. Today I want to address the rumor that it’s exorbitantly expensive to register for a sales tax permit.
In fact, registering or a sales tax permit is absolutely free in the majority of states! In other states, it only costs a small fee (think, less than $20.) Think of it this way – the state wants you register and collect sales tax from your in-state buyers. A barrier to entry like an expensive fee for registering might just deter you from what they want in the long run – you collecting a small percentage of sales tax on every transaction.
States that Charge a Fee to Register for a Sales Tax Permit
That said, not all states are free to register. Some have a small fee, and a couple are pretty pricy! Here are the states that require a registration fee. (You can click on the link for more about how to register for a sales tax permit in each state.)
Arizona – The state charges $12 to file for a transaction privilege tax (TPT) permit (which is like a sales tax permit in Arizona.) You may also be required to register in individual local areas which may cost a small fee. (Don’t worry – most starts are not as complex as Arizona!)
Arkansas – It costs $50 to apply for and Arkansas sales tax permit.
Colorado – It costs $16 to apply for a Colorado sales tax permit. Permits must also be renewed every 2 years at a cost of $16.
Connecticut – There’s an application fee of $100 to apply. Ouch!
Florida – There is a $5 fee only if you elect to register by paper. Registering online is free.
Hawaii – Hawaii charges a $20 fee to register for a General Excise Tax (GET) permit.
Indiana – There is a $25 registration fee to register a business in Indiana.
Missouri – A business must post a bond equivalent to 3 months of sales and use tax collected.
Nevada – There is a $15 registration fee for a Nevada sales tax permit.
Ohio – There is a $25 fee to register for a sales tax permit in Ohio.
Oklahoma – It costs $20 to apply for an Oklahoma sales tax permit. There’s also a convenience fee of $3.95 for paying with a Visa Debit card and a convenience fee of 2.5% for paying with any other type of card.
Rhode Island – It costs $10 to register for a Rhode Island sales tax permit.
South Carolina – It costs $50 to register for a South Carolina sales tax permit.
Washington – It may cost $19 to register for a Washington sales tax permit.
Wisconsin – It costs $20 to register for a Wisconsin sales tax permit.
Wyoming – There is a one time license fee of $60 to register for a Wyoming sales tax permit.
There’s one other important caveat when it comes to registering for a sales tax permit and paying fees. Depending on your business relationship with the state, you may be required to register your business for other state activities aside from sales tax. For example, if you have income tax nexus in the state then you may be required to register with the Secretary of State in that state. Or if you have employees in that state, you may be required to register with that state’s Department of Labor. This blog post doesn’t cover those types of fees. If you think you may need to register for more than just a sales tax permit in a state, we recommend a couple of things:
- Consult a good accountant – here’s a vetted list of eCommerce accountants
- Give the state a call – here’s a list of telephone numbers for every state’s department of revenue (or equivalent)
Do you see something we missed or a fee that has changed? In the interest of keeping this list as up-to-date as possible, let us know in the comments!