Sales Tax Registration in California

Sales and Use tax are applicable in state of California. If you are seller here or have nexus then you are required to have sales tax permit.

Sales tax is charged on retail sales of taxable products, registration is not required for sale of exempted products. Use tax is charged on use, storage or consumption of products where sales tax is not applicable.

Registration requirement under Sales and Use Tax in California

Any retailer whether a natural person (individual), corporation, partnership firm or limited liability company must get registered with California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) if they deal in taxable products.

If you are liable for registration but have not registered, authorities can issue notice and register your business. Authorities will collect sales tax along with penalties.

Registration procedure with CDTFA for sales and use tax permit

To register with California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), you need to visit CDTFA portal. Registration procedure is completely online and one can complete it by visiting CDTFA portal. Registration is one time activity if you are not opting for temporary registration. No need to renew your permit every year.

Complete process to get sales tax permit in California is:

  • Visit portal
  • Click on Doing business link
  • Click on Apply for Sellers Permit
  • Click on Launch Service
  • Click on Business Activity or Location
  • Form will open, fill the form and submit

First you need to visit portal. Click on Doing business link.

sales tax registration step 1

Next, link will take you to a page, click on Apply for Sellers Permit.

sales tax registration step 2

Next click on Launch Services.

sales tax registration step 3

Next you need to click on Business Activity Link.

sales tax step 4

You will be taken to registration page. You need to fill the complete form to start with registration.

sales tax registration form

Documents and Information required for Sales Tax Registration in California

  • Driver License
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Email Address
  • Supplier Name/Address
  • Personal References
  • Bookkeeper/Accountant Address and Phone Number (if applicable)
  • FEIN (Partnership, Association, Organization, Trust, Estate, Joint Venture, Receivership/Fiduciary, Unincorporated Business Organization, Corporation, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation)
  • California Secretary of State Entity Number (Corporation, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation)
  • Officer, Member, or Partner Information (date of birth, SSN, or driver license and address)
  • Agency Name (Federal, State, and Local Government)
  • Contact information of the person(s) who maintains the books and records (name, address and phone number)

Procedure in case of buying a business

If you are buying an already registered and running business in California, you should get a Clearance Certificate for tax authorities. In case you do not get the Clearance Certificate, any unpaid tax liability of existing business will be recovered from you.

Further, if you are resigning from a partnership, you must inform tax authorities to avoid liability incurred after your separation.

Sales Tax Rates in California

State Rate 6.00%
County Rate 0.25%
City Rate 0.77%
Special Rate 1.92%
Combined Rate 8.39%

Check Sales Tax Calculator and Rates in California.

Updated: March 31, 2020

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