Whether your business buys goods to resell through a physical storefront or through traveling salespeople, you'll need to obtain a reseller's permit in Ohio, which is also called a vendor's license. Obtaining this license first requires determining whether a regular vendor's license, transient vendor's license or both fit your business's activities. You'll then complete a simple application process that asks for information about your business; you can do this entire process online or offline regardless of license type.

Understanding Ohio Seller's Permit Requirements

The Ohio Department of Taxation states that a reseller's permit in Ohio is necessary for any business selling products or services that are subject to sales tax, including wholesalers. This applies whether your business has a physical storefront at a fixed location, you travel to different locations to conduct business (such as trade shows or markets) or you operate entirely online.

Each year, you'll have to renew your vendor's license to keep it active. If something changes, such as you relocate or have a change in ownership, you must notify the Ohio Department of Taxation and either transfer your license or file a new one, depending on the situation.

In addition to obtaining and maintaining your license, your business must record all transactions, collect sales tax and submit tax returns with any sales tax due to the state.

Choosing the Right Vendor's License

You have two options for a resale license Ohio: a regular county vendor's license or a transient vendor's license. If your business only operates from a fixed location or through the Internet, you will file for a regular vendor's license for each physical location you have. For traveling businesses, such as those with door-to-door salespeople, you'll need a transient vendor's license.

The State of Ohio allows you to obtain both types of licenses if necessary. For example, you might have a physical store but also sell your goods at local shows, meaning you'll need to file for both regular and transient vendor licenses.

As of March 2019, both regular and transient vendor licenses will incur a $25 application fee paid to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Completing a Paper License Application

Businesses seeking a regular Ohio seller's permit can fill out Form ST-1, which you can view on the Ohio Department of Taxation website or the county auditor's website.

This one-page form will ask for your business's tax identification number along with questions about:

  • type of ownership (such as partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship, etc)
  • your business's North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS, code, which describes your business activity
  • your business activities and reports/estimates of taxable sales
  • your name and contact information
  • details about any liquor permits you might have and related sales
  • personal information for any other people who share ownership

For a transient vendor's license, you'll download Form ST-1T from the Ohio Department of Taxation website and fill in much of the same information as Form ST-1. The difference is you won't see questions about liquor licenses for a transient license application.

After filling out either form, you'll need to write the date and sign your name on the bottom. For a regular vendor's license, you can either visit the local county auditor's office in person or mail in your completed application along with a check or money order for the $25 application fee. You'll mail your application and payment directly to the Ohio Department of Taxation for a transient license.

Getting Your Vendor's License Online

If you'd rather avoid mailing in forms or driving to the county auditor's office, you can go to the Ohio Business Gateway website and create an account to complete the entire vendor license process online.

After logging in, follow the online system's prompts to select the license application for either a regular or transient vendor's license. For both license types, you can expect to provide the same information requested on the physical forms.

When requesting a reseller's permit for Ohio online, you can either pay with an electronic transfer from a checking or savings account or pay a convenience fee to use a credit card. After paying and submitting online, the Ohio Department of Taxation also states that you'll get your license immediately.