Reseller permits are distributed by the State and allow:
In order to receive a resellers permit, you must have the appropriate:
Reseller permits are generally valid for four years. However, permits are valid for only two years if any of the following apply:
Expiration notice: If your business’s permit will not be automatically renewed, you will receive a notice to apply for a new reseller permit approximately 90 days before your permit expires.
If your business has been issued a reseller permit you are responsible for ensuring that the permit is used properly. Use your reseller permit to buy only those items that you resell in the regular course of your business. When you resell those items to consumers, you must collect Washington state and local sales tax and then submit that tax to the Department. For industry specific information on how to use reseller permits, see our Industry guides.
Reseller permits may be used to buy:
Businesses may not use a reseller permit to buy:
Misuse of a permit may result in penalties for the buyer and the permit may be revoked. Anyone found using a permit inappropriately will owe the tax due and a 50 percent penalty—even if there was no fraud intended.
If you buy goods to resell but you either don’t have a reseller permit, or your permit has expired, you have the following options:
Every business that sells at wholesale must obtain a valid reseller permit or other documentation for each customer that buys without paying retail sales tax. Sellers must maintain proper documentation for all wholesale sales for 5 years after the date of sale, and have up to 120 days from the date of the sale to collect the documentation.
In the event of an audit, you will be asked to provide documentation to support your wholesale sales. Documentation options include:
Sellers may also accept other approved exemption certificates from customers. To be valid, these certificates must be properly completed and signed by the customer.
If the buyer does not have a valid reseller permit or does not provide an approved exemption certificate, you must collect and remit sales tax.
During an audit, failure to have a valid, current reseller permit or documentation on file may result in the reclassification of the sale from wholesaling to retailing B&O tax. The business will owe sales tax for that sale.
You have the right to refuse to make tax-exempt sales if you have reason to believe the customer is misusing their reseller permit, is not reselling the items purchased, or the permit is expired or otherwise not valid.
We recommend verifying your customers’ reseller permit information at least once per year.