Business of Art #1: why and how to have a sellers permit.

First off, what's a Seller's Permit/License?: This is from the California Board of Equalization's (BOE) website, "A seller's permit is issued by our agency and allows you to make sales in California". There is a version of this in every state, so if you're not in California make sure to google sellers permit in (your state). This permit will allow you to be making sale in your state, you need to have one of these to sell art and art prints legally. I never ran into trouble when i didn't have one for the first few years of my business, granted I didn't know I needed one, but still you want to make sure your business is protected because it's your income and future.  This permit also comes with a perk: it also allows you to get a resale certificate. 

What's a resale certificate?: Also from the BOE's website "Once you have a seller's permit, you may issue resale certificates to your suppliers to buy items you will sell in your business operations. Issuing a resale certificate allows you to buy these items without paying tax to the seller." Basically you can then order prints from suppliers and not get hit with sales tax (which is VERY high in California) so this can save you a lot of money by the end of the year. Some suppliers don't have this deal. Places like staples and smaller printing place who don't specialize solely in printing don't tend to offer this, BUT if you start selling larger quantities and better quality prints you're going to need to get a better printer. This is where your seller permit comes in handy. On these printers sites when you sign up they usually give you the option to enter your sellers permit account number, they then don't charge you sales tax. NOTE: you still HAVE to charge your customers sales tax if your state has sales tax! You will owe the sales tax at the end of the year when you file taxes. So either up your price so it includes sales tax or let your customer know they'll be charged tax just like if they were at target or amazon. 

What's the process for getting these?: Go to you states site that issues these permits, it may take some googling depending on your state, for California it is the BOE's site. There you choose to apply for a sellers permit and fill out all the info. Most of you won't qualify for a lot of the options. Just specify that you're seller art and prints and don't want to pay the sales tax to your supplier. Then you should be sent an email with a copy of your permit, save this and save copies and make prints to keep with you at shows and for taxes. 

Comment if you have any questions or if you're having trouble getting yours and I'll help you out.