Registering to Collect and Pay Sales Taxes for Your Small Business in Florida

When you start up a small business in Florida and sell products or services that are subject to sales tax, you need to register with the state of Florida to collect and remit sales taxes. Generally, sales tax must be collected and paid on any transaction that is not specifically exempt. The state sales tax in Florida is 6% and most counties in Florida have a sales surtax. The Florida Department of Revenue provides a partial list of taxable business activities.

You can register your business in Florida for sales tax and other purposes either online or by completing Form DR-1 ‘” Application to Collect and/or Report Tax in Florida. You will need to indicate the beginning date of your business activity, the legal and fictitious name of your business, address and contact information, information on the owners or partners, the type of ownership or legal structure of your business, and the type of business you will conduct.

Once you are registered, you will receive a Certificate of Registration, which you should clearly display at your business location. You will also receive an Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax. This certificate allows you to purchase goods and services tax-free when they will be used in your business. This includes items that will become part of a product you sell, items that you will resell, services that will be resold as part of your business operations, and rentals that will be re-rented. You should provide your vendors with a signed copy of your resale certificate in order to make tax-exempt purchases and rentals.

Once you have registered and have your sales tax certificates, you should collect sales tax on each taxable sale. Depending on your type of business and sales volume, you may need a cash register and point of sale system with the appropriate accounting software to keep track of your taxable sales and the sales tax you collect.

Your certificate of registration will indicate how often you need to file sales tax returns and pay the sales taxes you collect ‘”monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Returns and payments are due by the 20th of the month following the month of collection.

The Florida Department of Revenue will send you a Sales and Use Tax Return (Form DC-15CS) for your first collection period and will send returns for you to file for your first calendar year. You can complete paper sales tax returns and send checks. Or you can file your sales tax returns and pay the tax electronically using the Florida Department of Revenue website, approved vendor software, or your own software. Before you can file and pay electronically, you need to enroll for e-services.

Sources:
Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax ‘” Florida Department of Revenue
Beginning Your Relationship with the Florida Department of Revenue ‘” Florida Department of Revenue
e-Services Enrollment ‘” Florida Department of Revenue
Florida’s Sales and Use Tax ‘” Florida Department of Revenue
Form DR-1 ‘” Application to Collect and/or Report Tax in Florida ‘” Florida Department of Revenue
Form DR-15CS ‘” Sales and Use Tax Return ‘” Florida Department of Revenue
Registration and Account Maintenance ‘” Florida Department of Revenue