How Do I Register To Collect Sales Tax in Florida?
- Sales Tax
- February 21, 2016 | Avalara
If you start a business in Florida, you have to register to collect sales tax. It doesn't matter if you are online-only or if you are brick-and-mortar. Fortunately, the whole process is quite simple, as Florida has a very good online system.
You can also apply by mail by filling out form DR-1 and sending it to this address:
Account Management MS 1-5730
Florida Department of Revenue
5050 W Tennessee St
Tallahassee FL 32399-0160
You could also take it there in person, but doing it online is much easier. You can register online from here.
Before you register, you'll need some information on hand to fill in:
- Legal business name
- Federal Employer Identification number (EIN)
- Date of organization, fiscal year end, charter number (not necessary if you are a sole proprietor, married couple, or estate)
- Owner/officer names
- Owner's social security number (not required if you are a corporation, business trust, non-business trust, estate, or Indian tribe)
- Physical address of business location
- Owner's address
- Owner's telephone number
- Owner's driver license number (sometimes required)
If you are going to pay the taxes/fees online, then you should also have your bank account number and routing number.
Once you have these things handy, you can start filling out the application. In the online application, the first section will be about the nature of your business.
The first set of questions is worded in a confusing manner. Question number one is:
Are you applying for tax registration for a new business entity -- not previously registered in Florida?
The "not previously registered in Florida" bit can throw you off. You should choose this if you are registering a new business, period. But you should also choose it if you're doing business in Florida for the first time, even if you've previously done business elsewhere.
The next question is:
Are you adding a new business location?
You require a sales tax certificate for every location you conduct business in, so if you were opening a second store, you'd choose this one.
Are you starting a new taxable business activity at an already registered location?
This is a little tricky. There are quite a few different taxes that businesses have to pay which are related to sales tax. For example, Florida has a special tax on communications services, so if you plan on adding cellphones to your product line, the answer to this is yes.
Are you moving from one Florida county to another?
This one is pretty straightforward. Sales tax is also connected to the county you are in, so if you switch counties, you'll have to do another application through this option.
Are you changing your legal entity or business structure?
You would choose this if you restructured your business from a sole proprietorship to a corporation, for example.
Are you purchasing or acquiring an existing business?
Since the tax collection is also tied to the owner, you have to apply if you buy an existing business because the ownership was transferred.
The remaining questions are quite straightforward and have yes/no answers, and they will determine what kind of taxes you will have to collect and pay.
Then it's a matter of filling out the rest of your information and making the filing payment, and you're on your way!
For more information, check out our detailed guide on Florida sales tax.