How to Apply for a Vendor's License

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Before eBay, selling or reselling goods, without the formalities of building a retail store, took place at flea markets, street fairs, and via moving fans and trucks. These part-time or temporary ventures are still great money-makers. Before you pack up your van and start selling, you must get a vendor's license. As stated in the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (and U.S. Departments of Taxation), "It is unlawful for a person to sell, offer to sell, or solicit orders for goods (including perishable foods) or services on any public street, sidewalk (etc.)... without a Vendor's License."

Choose the type of license. A fixed location license is for vendors who want to sell from a non-movable physical location. A transient license is for sellers who will be using a truck, trailer, van or a mobile store. Williams County Ohio Auditor defines transient license as "issued to vendors who transport a stock of goods to a temporary exhibit (county fairs, festivals, craft shows) in a county where they have no fixed place of business."

Complete the application. Go to your county's department of taxation website or pick up an application in person. Most applications can be downloaded in pdf version from these sites and printed out on your printer to be filled out. More advanced sites allow you to complete the application right online.

Send in the application and supporting documents to the department of taxation. The documents you are required to send in with the application vary from county to county. These documents could include driver's license, proof of fictitious name filing, map of location where you will be selling, or proof of ownership of property you will be selling on.

Pay fee. Vendor's license fees vary by county. The fee can be as little as 25 dollars and as much as 1,000 dollars.

Post vendor's license for public to see. Law requires that your vendor's license be posted in a way that the general public can readily see your business name, address and contact information.


  • Apply well in advance of the date you wish to begin your business. Larger cities have a limit on the number of vendor's licenses they issue due to market overcrowding.