How to Get Georgia Sales Tax Permit | A Comprehensive Guide

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
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Georgia Sales Tax Permit

Have you ever wondered what a sales tax permit is in Georgia? If you don’t, then we will guide you through it. In Georgia, a sales tax permit, also known as a seller’s permit, is a legal document that allows businesses, specifically Georgia LLC, to collect and remit sales tax to the Georgia government. This permit ensures businesses operate legally and have the necessary permissions to conduct sales within a particular state. Georgia has its own rules and regulations surrounding sales tax permits. Business owners must familiarize themselves with the requirements and processes to comply with the law.

In this comprehensive guide, Webinarcare Editorial Team will walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining and maintaining Georgia Sales Tax Permit. From understanding the basics of sales tax to the intricacies of the application process, we have got you covered. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

What is a Sales Tax Permit?

A sales tax permit is Georgia-issued license that allows businesses to collect and remit sales tax on the goods and services they sell. This permit ensures Georgia businesses operate legally and have the necessary permissions to conduct sales within a particular state. In Georgia, a sales tax permit is required for businesses that sell taxable goods or services and are required to collect sales tax from their customers.

Who Needs a Sales Tax Permit?

Not all businesses need a sales tax permit. Typically, businesses that sell tangible personal property or taxable services to customers within Georgia require a sales tax permit. This includes brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and service providers. Georgia may also require sales tax permits for businesses that sell certain types of products or services, such as alcohol or tobacco. If you plan to start a bakery business in Georgia, you typically need a sales tax permit to collect and remit sales tax on the items you sell.

If your business operates in multiple states or forms a foreign LLC in Georgia, you may need to obtain a sales tax permit for each state with a sales tax nexus. A sales tax nexus is a connection or presence a business has within a state that requires them to collect and remit sales tax. Factors that can create a nexus include the following:

  • Physical location
  • Employees
  • Inventory within a state

Obtaining a sales tax permit in Georgia is not just about complying with regulations, but about seizing the opportunity to grow and thrive in the market. To start an LLC must be a gateway to establish a legitimate business presence and to build trust with customers. Embrace this essential step, for it paves the path towards success and prosperity.

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How to Get a Sales Tax Permit in Georgia

The process for obtaining a sales tax permit varies from state to state. Generally, Georgia businesses must apply through the Georgia Department of Revenue. The following steps provide an overview of the application process:

Step 1: Determine If You Need a Sales Tax Permit 

Before applying, determine if your Georgia business needs a sales tax permit based on the goods or services you sell and where you operate.

Most Georgia businesses that sell tangible goods or services must have a sales tax permit. This includes:

  • Retailers – businesses that sell goods directly to consumers, such as clothing stores, grocery stores, and electronics stores.
  • Service Providers – businesses that provide services, such as hair salons, auto repair shops, and landscaping companies.
  • Wholesalers – businesses that sell goods to other businesses, such as distributors and manufacturers.
  • Online Sellers – businesses that sell goods or services online, including Georgia E-commerce and online marketplaces.

Step 2: Register Your Georgia Business

Register your business in Georgia if you still need to. This may involve obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Georgia from the Internal Revenue Service and registering your business name with the Georgia Secretary of State. 

Your Georgia business name should be unique, memorable, and reflective of your products or services. There is a complete guide on Georgia Business Name Search for a proper Georgia business name. You can also check the availability of your desired business name by searching the Georgia Corporations Division‘s website.

In obtaining an EIN, it can be done through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

Complete the registration for a legal Georgia business if you plan to sell tangible goods. 

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 3: Gather The Necessary Information

The next step is to collect the required information for the Georgia sales tax permit application. To obtain a sales tax permit in Georgia, you will need to gather the following necessary information:

  1. Business Details: Provide the legal name, mailing address, and contact information of your business, including your Georgia DBA (Doing Business As) names.
  2. Entity Type: Indicate whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC, or legal entity.
  3. EIN/SSN: Have your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) ready. This identification is required to associate the sales tax permit with your business.
  4. Purpose of Permit: Explain the nature of your business activities, such as retail sales, wholesale, manufacturing, or service, to determine the appropriate sales tax category.
  5. Product/Service Description: Provide a brief description of the goods or services your business offers, including any unique details that may impact the sales tax requirements.
  6. Nexus Information: Identify if your business has a physical presence or nexus in Georgia, such as a brick-and-mortar location, employees, or inventory storage.
  7. Estimated Sales: Estimate your expected monthly or annual sales volume in Georgia to determine the appropriate tax registration and reporting requirements.
  8. Previous Registration: If you are already registered for sales tax in another state, provide details to determine if any reciprocal agreements or exemptions apply.
  9. Supporting Documents: Some states may require additional documentation, such as a copy of your business license, federal tax returns, or a certificate of authority.
  10. Fee Payment: Be prepared to pay the required fee for obtaining a sales tax permit in Georgia.

It’s important to note the exact requirements and processes in Georgia. It is recommended to visit the official website of the Georgia Department of Revenue or consult with a tax professional for accurate and up-to-date information.

Step 4: Complete The Application

Fill out the sales tax permit application form for Georgia, either online or by paper. Be prepared to answer questions about your business operations, products, and services. You can register your Georgia sales tax permit in Georgia Tax Center.

Step 5: Pay Any Required Fees

In Georgia, the state permit may charge a fee for obtaining a sales tax permit. Be prepared to pay this fee when submitting your application. Usually, it costs $0 (Free). 

Step 6: Submit The Application

Submit your completed application, along with the required fee of $0 (Free), to the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Step 7: Receive Your Permit

Once your application is approved, you will receive your sales tax permit. This may be a physical document or an electronic certificate you can print. 

How to Maintain a Sales Tax Permit

After obtaining a sales tax permit, Georgia businesses must maintain compliance with Georgia sales tax laws. This typically involves the following steps:

  • Collect Sales Tax: Collect sales tax from customers on taxable goods and services. Be sure to charge the correct sales tax rate based on your and your customer’s locations. The sales tax rate in Georgia is 4.00%. 
  • Keep Accurate Records: Maintained detailed records of all sales transactions, including the amount of sales tax collected. This information will be required when filing your sales tax returns. Hire a certified public accountant (CPA) to keep track of records. 
  • File Sales Tax Returns: File sales tax returns with Georgia, typically monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your sales volume and Georgia requirements. Be sure to remit the sales tax collected during the reporting period.
  • Renew your Permit: Georgia requires businesses to renew their sales tax permits periodically. Know your state’s renewal requirements and complete the necessary steps to maintain your permit.

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Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to obtain or maintain a sales tax permit can seriously affect a business. Penalties for non-compliance can include fines, penalties, interest charges, and even the revocation of your business license. Additionally, Georgia businesses that fail to collect and remit the Georgia sales tax may be held personally liable for the unpaid taxes.

Do I Need a Sales Tax Permit If I Only Sell Online?

You likely need a sales tax permit if you sell taxable goods or services online and have a sales tax nexus in Georgia. To have a Home-Based Business in Georgia, you must still file and maintain a sales tax permit. 

How Long Does Obtaining a Sales Tax Permit Take?

The processing time for sales tax permit applications takes time. In Georgia, they may issue permits within a few days, while others may take several weeks. Be sure to apply well in advance of when you plan to start selling taxable goods or services.

Can I Have Multiple Sales Tax Permits?

Businesses that operate in multiple states or sell different types of products may need multiple sales tax permits. Be sure to research the specific requirements for each state and product type. Having a foreign LLC is not quite easy since you still need to hire a Registered Agent, file for the Articles of Organization of the state you wish to operate your business, and also, you need to have multiple sales tax permits. 

How Much Does a Sales Tax Permit Cost?

The costs and requirements for obtaining a sales tax permit vary depending on the state. To find accurate information about the cost of a sales tax permit in Georgia, you can visit the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website or consult with a tax professional or accountant familiar with your state’s regulations. They can provide the most up-to-date information on the costs and requirements for obtaining a sales tax permit in Georgia.

FAQs

What is a sales tax permit?
A sales tax permit is a license that allows you to collect and remit sales tax on goods sold in the state of Georgia.
Who needs a sales tax permit in Georgia?
Anyone who sells taxable goods in Georgia needs a sales tax permit, including online sellers.
How do I know if what I sell is taxable in Georgia?
You can find a list of taxable items on the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website.
How do I apply for a sales tax permit in Georgia?
You can apply for a sales tax permit online using the Georgia Tax Center.
Can I apply for a sales tax permit in person?
Yes, you can apply for a sales tax permit in person at your local Georgia Department of Revenue office.
Is there a fee to apply for a sales tax permit in Georgia?
No, there is no fee to apply for a sales tax permit in Georgia.
How long does it take to get a sales tax permit in Georgia?
It typically takes 2-3 weeks to receive your sales tax permit in Georgia.
Once I have a sales tax permit, when do I need to start collecting sales tax?
You should start collecting sales tax immediately upon receiving your sales tax permit.
Do I need to renew my sales tax permit in Georgia?
No, your sales tax permit in Georgia does not need to be renewed.
Can I open a business without a sales tax permit in Georgia?
No, in order to legally sell taxable goods in Georgia, you need to have a sales tax permit.
How do I change my business name on my sales tax permit in Georgia?
You can change your business name on your sales tax permit by contacting the Georgia Department of Revenue.
How do I change my business address on my sales tax permit in Georgia?
You can change your business address on your sales tax permit through the Georgia Tax Center.
What happens if I start selling taxable goods without a sales tax permit in Georgia?
You could face fines and penalties for selling without a sales tax permit in Georgia.
Do I need a separate sales tax permit for every location I sell from in Georgia?
Yes, you need a separate sales tax permit for every location you sell from in Georgia.
Can I cancel my sales tax permit in Georgia?
Yes, you can cancel your sales tax permit by contacting the Georgia Department of Revenue.
How do I remit sales tax that I’ve collected in Georgia?
You can remit sales tax through the Georgia Tax Center or by mail.
When do I need to remit sales tax to Georgia?
Sales tax collected in Georgia is due at the end of the month following the end of the reporting period.
How often do I need to report sales tax in Georgia?
How often you need to report sales tax in Georgia depends on the amount of sales tax you collect; however, you must file a return at least once per year.
What is the penalty for late sales tax remittance in Georgia?
The penalty for late sales tax remittance in Georgia is assessed at a rate of 10% per month, up to a maximum of 25%.
Can I use my sales tax permit from another state to collect sales tax in Georgia?
No, you cannot use a sales tax permit from another state to collect sales tax in Georgia.
Do I need to collect sales tax on shipping charges in Georgia?
Yes, you need to collect sales tax on shipping charges in Georgia.
How can I change my sales tax rate in Georgia?
You can change your sales tax rate by updating your business information in the Georgia Tax Center.
What is the sales tax rate in Georgia?
The sales tax rate in Georgia varies by county and ranges from 6% to 8%.
Can I get a sales tax exemption in Georgia?
There are some sales tax exemptions available in Georgia; you can learn more on the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website.
What is the statute of limitations for sales tax in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for sales tax in Georgia is four years.
Are there any restrictions on what I can use sales tax collected for in Georgia?
Yes, sales tax collected in Georgia must be used for specific purposes, such as education and infrastructure.
What should I do if I have more questions about my sales tax permit in Georgia?
You can contact the Georgia Department of Revenue for more information.
How do I obtain a sales tax permit in Georgia?
You can apply online through the Georgia Tax Center or by submitting a paper application to the Department of Revenue.
Who needs to obtain a sales tax permit in Georgia?
Anyone who sells goods or services in Georgia is required to obtain a sales tax permit.
Is there a fee to obtain a sales tax permit in Georgia?
No, there is no fee to obtain a sales tax permit in Georgia.
How long does it take to obtain a sales tax permit in Georgia?
It typically takes 4-6 weeks to receive a sales tax permit in Georgia.
Can I operate my business without a sales tax permit in Georgia?
No, it is illegal to sell goods or services in Georgia without a sales tax permit.
Do I need a separate sales tax permit for each location I operate in Georgia?
Yes, you need a separate sales tax permit for each location you operate in Georgia.
Is there a penalty for operating without a sales tax permit in Georgia?
Yes, the penalty can range from $50 to $5,000 per violation.
Are there any exemptions to the Georgia sales tax?
Yes, certain types of goods and services are exempt from sales tax in Georgia, such as prescription medicines, certain agricultural products, and many educational and social services.
How often do I need to file a sales tax return in Georgia?
Most taxpayers are required to file monthly sales tax returns in Georgia, however if your taxable sales are less than $1,000, you can file quarterly returns.
What is the deadline for filing a sales tax return in Georgia?
Sales tax returns in Georgia are due on the 20th of each month or quarter, depending on your reporting period.
Can I file my sales tax return and pay my taxes online in Georgia?
Yes, you can file and pay your sales tax online through the Georgia Tax Center.
Do I need to charge sales tax on out-of-state sales in Georgia?
It depends on the circumstances, if the seller has a physical presence in Georgia when the sale occurs the buyer needs to be charged a sales tax, if seller is based out of Georgia buyer is not responsible for a sales tax.
What happens if I overpay my sales tax in Georgia?
You can either request a refund or apply it as credit to your future sales tax liabilities.
What happens if I underpay my sales tax in Georgia?
You may incur a penalty or interest in addition to being required to pay the underpaid tax amount.
Can I apply for a sales tax permit online in Georgia?
Yes, you can apply online through the Georgia Tax Center.
What information do I need to provide to apply for a sales tax permit in Georgia?
You will be asked to provide your basic business and personal information, along with information about your business operations.
Can I apply for a sales tax permit in person in Georgia?
No, you cannot apply for a sales tax permit in person in Georgia.
Can I set up automatic payments for my sales tax in Georgia?
Yes, you can set up pre-authorized payments through the Georgia Tax Center.
What is a Georgia sales tax exemption certificate?
A Georgia sales tax exemption certificate is a document that allows certain businesses or individuals to make tax-exempt purchases.
How do I obtain a Georgia sales tax exemption certificate?
You can obtain a Georgia sales tax exemption certificate by submitting an application to the Department of Revenue.
Do I need to charge sales tax on shipping charges in Georgia?
Yes, shipping charges are subject to sales tax in Georgia if they are part of the sale.
Can I use my sales tax permit from another state in Georgia?
No, each state requires its own sales tax permit, so you must obtain a separate permit to sell goods or services in Georgia.
Do I need to inform the Georgia Department of Revenue if my business changes locations?
Yes, you need to inform the Georgia Department of Revenue if your business changes locations in the state.
Can I get a resale certificate in Georgia?
Yes, you can get a resale certificate in Georgia which is essentially an exemption certificate retailers use when they purchase products they will resell.
How do I obtain a Georgia resale certificate?
You can obtain a resale certificate by filing Form ST-5 with the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Do I need to charge sales tax on services in Georgia?
Some services are subject to sales tax in Georgia, but others may be exempt. You should consult with the Georgia Department of Revenue if you are unsure.

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Conclusion

Obtaining and maintaining a sales tax permit is crucial to running a compliant and successful business. By understanding the requirements and processes in Georgia, you can ensure that your business collects and remits sales tax correctly and avoids any penalties for non-compliance. Consulting with a tax professional or Georgia attorney is recommended to ensure that your Georgia business meets all necessary sales tax requirements.

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