How to Get a Wholesale License

By: Contributors  | 

Whether you sell your products from your home, through stores or online, you'll need to register as a business and obtain a wholesale license. Laws may vary depending on where you live and the nature of your business, so contact the IRS to inquire about what licenses you need to legally operate your business. Read the steps listed below and learn about how you can get a wholesale license.

  1. Register your business. If this is a new business venture and you're looking to buy wholesale products and sell them in smaller quantities, you'll have to register your business before you can obtain a wholesale license. Contact the IRS to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) (which is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number). Applying for an EIN is free of charge. It will take four to five weeks to receive your EIN, after which you will be able to conduct business and hire employees [source: IRS].
  2. Obtain a sales-tax license. Once your business is registered, you will need to obtain a sales-tax license in order to charge sales tax on the items you sell. The terms of the license and the percent you will charge will differ depending on where you live. Contact your state's tax office to apply for a sales-tax license. Applications and fees vary depending on the state [source: Seller Permit].
  3. Obtain a wholesale license. Contact your state's tax or revenue office to apply for and obtain a wholesale license. Applications and fees will vary depending on where you live. Remember that once your business is licensed as a wholesaler, you will be exempt from paying sales tax on the products that you are buying wholesale with the intention to resell. It's best to consult with your lawyer or accountant to find out what exemptions you're eligible to receive with a wholesale license [source: Business Name USA].


Originally Published: Jul 6, 2011

Wholesale License FAQ

Do you need a wholesale license to sell online?
Yes, you need a license for selling wholesale, whether you sell your products at physical outlets or online.
What's a wholesale license?
A wholesale license is a permit that allows you to legally sell various goods in wholesale without paying sales tax on the items. You can obtain this permit from your state’s tax or revenue office.
How do I apply for a wholesale license?
To apply for a wholesale license, you first need to register your business by contacting the IRS and submitting an application for your Federal Tax Identification Number. Next, you need to apply for a sales tax license to charge sales tax on your products or services. Finally, you need to contact your state's tax and revenue office to obtain your wholesale license.
Do I need a wholesale license to buy wholesale?
Yes, when looking to buy products wholesale, you need a wholesale license. Otherwise you will need to pay sales tax on the products you buy wholesale, cutting deeply into your profits.