The Washington State Department of Revenue regulates business activity in the state, providing businesses with the licenses necessary to buy products wholesale--that is, without paying sales tax. With the proper permits, you are entitled to puchase goods wholesale in Washington state if you are either going to resell them without altering them, or if like with food products, you will use them as components in other products that you will sell to end users.
Print a Master Business License Application from the Washington State Department of Revenue website at http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/700028fillable.pdf. If you do not have access to a computer or a printer, call the Department of Revenue at 360-664-1400 and ask them to send you a copy of the application.
Fill out the form, specifying the type of business you will be starting, and whether you will be operating at a retail or wholesale level.
Send the form, along with your payment, to: Master License Service Department of Licensing PO Box 9034 Olympia, WA 98507-9034
As of February 2010, the Master Business License fee is
$15, along with an additional $5 if you will be doing business under a trade name other than your own name.
The state revenue will send you a Master Business License which qualifies you to perform business operations in the state. You will receive your business license and reseller's permit in about two weeks. They are permanent licenses and do not need to be renewed annually. The state revenue department will also send you a reseller's permit. Copy this permit and provide a copy to each business where you shop wholesale in order to qualify you for tax exempt wholesale purchases.
Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.