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How Do I Register to Collect CA Sales Tax?

California is the most populous state in the US. If you have CA sales tax nexus, think of it as an opportunity rather than a burden. Yes, you have to comply with the state’s sales tax laws. But you get access to all those consumers!

The good news is that registering to collect California sales tax is super easy. The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is there to help you out.

Register for CA Sales Tax Online

The sale of three or more items on which California sales tax is due in one year triggers the requirement to register for a seller’s permit in the state. If you sell only occasionally or for less than 90 days a year, and you don’t have California tax nexus, you might qualify for a temporary sellers permit.

California has a registration webpage that lays out everything you need to know to figure out whether you are required to get a seller’s permit. If you aren’t sure what category you fit into, the online registration will walk you through it.

If you are new to California sales tax, click the bolded “Register a business activity with BOE” link on the registration page. Your answers to the questionnaire that pops up will help BOE guide you to the type of seller’s permit you need. Then you can fill out the permit application online and, in many cases, receive your resale number right away.

Register for CA Sales Tax in Person

If the online registration raises questions you can’t answer, the BOE has numerous field offices where you can call or visit in person. California even has three BOE branches out of state, in Chicago, Houston, and New York. At the field office, you may be able to fill out the necessary paperwork and get your seller’s permit on the spot.

And don’t forget -- when you register to collect CA sales tax, you get rights as well as responsibilities. Your resale license is your all-access pass to wholesale-only sales floors, and it will allow you to buy supplies and goods for resale at wholesale prices and without paying California sales tax.

Avalara Author
Laura McCamy
Avalara Author Laura McCamy