What Is a Resale Certificate California

A resale certificate is a document issued by the state of California that allows businesses to purchase goods for resale without paying sales tax. This certificate is also known as a resale permit or reseller’s license. It is a crucial document for retailers, wholesalers, and resellers who want to buy products for resale purposes.

To obtain a resale certificate in California, businesses must apply with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). The application process typically involves providing information about the business, such as its legal name, address, and type of business entity. Additionally, businesses may need to provide a social security number or taxpayer identification number (TIN) and may be required to pay an application fee.

Once a business obtains a resale certificate, it can provide a copy of the certificate to its suppliers when purchasing goods for resale. The supplier will then exclude sales tax from the transaction, as the responsibility for collecting and remitting sales tax will fall on the business making the final sale to the end consumer.


1. Who needs a resale certificate in California?
Any business that intends to purchase goods for resale purposes in California needs a resale certificate. This includes retailers, wholesalers, and resellers.

2. How long does it take to get a resale certificate in California?
The processing time for a resale certificate application in California can vary. It typically takes a few weeks for the CDTFA to review and approve the application. However, it may take longer during busy periods.

3. Is there a fee for obtaining a resale certificate in California?
Yes, there is an application fee for obtaining a resale certificate in California. The fee amount may vary, so it’s important to check the current fee schedule on the CDTFA’s website.

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4. Do I need a separate resale certificate for each location?
No, a single resale certificate is generally sufficient for all locations of a business within California. However, if the business has multiple legal entities or operates under different names, separate certificates may be required.

5. How long is a resale certificate valid in California?
A resale certificate in California is generally valid until it is revoked or canceled. However, businesses should regularly review their certificate to ensure it is still valid and update any necessary information.

6. Can a resale certificate be used for online purchases?
Yes, a resale certificate can be used for both in-person and online purchases of goods for resale purposes. Businesses simply need to provide a copy of their resale certificate to the seller or supplier.

It is important for businesses in California to obtain a resale certificate to avoid paying sales tax on goods purchased for resale. By obtaining this certificate, businesses can save on costs and remain compliant with the state’s tax laws.