How to Get a Small Business Permit to Sell at a Swap Meet

By Lanee' Blunt

Every vendor selling at a swap meet must have a seller’s permit to collect sales taxes on everything and in applicable jurisdictions. To obtain a seller’s permit a business must apply with their state’s taxation office.  Swap Meets provide a family oriented environment for vendors to sell a variety of items. Heavily advertised locations attract approximately 30,000 to 40,000 shoppers weekly. Setting up your booth in the right location having quality merchandise at a bargain you have the potential to make a lot of money.

Things you’ll need
Business address
Photo ID

Moderately easy

Sell new or handcrafted items. A vendor must have a seller’s permit to do business in your state at a swap meet. This does not apply if you are selling occasionally. A person that cleans out their garage of used items and sells only those items would qualify as an occasional seller, provided they sell no more than twice in a 12 month period.

Acquire a seller’s permit for each location. If you sell goods at more than one swap meet or at other locations you will need to apply for a seller’s permit for each address. You won’t need to apply separately for each one, just list all of the addresses on the application and your state will issue a permit for each location.

Apply for a seller’s permit with your state. The state seller’s permit can be obtained and handed in over in person. You will need your driver’s license or state ID card with your application and it applies to everyone who signs the application, for example partners or members of your corporation.

Apply for the sellers permit at least three weeks before opening your booth at the swap meet. You cannot conduct business without the permit and the address of the swap meet must be on the permit.

Mail your application. If you mail the application instead of handing it in person, everyone who is on the application has to sign the form. You will need to include a photocopy of each driver’s license or state ID card with the application. You will receive the permit in the mail.

Display your seller’s permit. You must present the seller’s permit at the swap meet and display it. Your swap meet space is your storefront and it is taxed by law.
By collecting all sales tax revenue you are providing your state with revenue.

In some states you may apply online or download an application to mail it back.

Seller’s Permit      

“The Small Business Start-up Kit for California”; Peri Pakroo; 2010


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