Work This Way

I need to obtain a resale license.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Question: I recently started a business doing home repairs and building computers. Where do I go to get a resale license?

Phillip Johnson
Park Forest, Illinois

Answer: There are two reasons you need a Certificate of Resale (in other states, this may be called a "seller's permit" or a "certificate of authority"). First, any homebased business selling taxable goods and services must pay sales taxes on what it sells. The definition of a taxable service varies from state to state. Depending on individual state rulings, both the parts and labor portions of your bill may be taxable.

Second, you can boost your profitability and cash flow by buying wholesale and not paying sales tax on parts by buying them from suppliers.

You can obtain a Certificate of Resale from the Illinois Department of Revenue, the state agency responsible for collecting sales tax. Get the form you need (NUC-1) by downloading it from the agency's Web site, or calling (800) 356-6302. To read the state's entire manual covering the sales tax, visit

If you mail in your application, it can take six to eight weeks to process. But if you go directly to a district office location with your appli-cation, it will be processed within a few days.

Like Illinois, the 46 other states that collect sales tax are making forms and information available on the Net. Usually you can get to the site of the agency using the address www.state.[your state's abbreviation].us.

You'll be required to file a monthly report called an ST-1 Sales & Use Tax and pay the sales tax on what you sell, which you can collect from your customers. If the amount you owe is below a certain threshold (in Illinois, it's $200), you only have to file reports on a quarterly basis.

Small-business experts Paul and Sarah Edwards recently released their second edition of The Best Home Businesses For The 21st Century (Putnam Publishing Group). If you have a question regarding a start-up business issue, contact them at or send it in care of Entrepreneur.

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.