Wholesale License Requirements


A wholesale license allows business owners to sell retail products and wholesale products on behalf of a business with the goal of making a profit. The wholesale license is not the same as a business license, meaning that an owner is not allowed to sell products when the business registration is complete. The wholesale license must be obtained from the given state’s department of taxation or secretary of state, depending on the state’s individual regulations and business laws.

Retail or Wholesale Products

The wholesale license allows business owners to sell retail and wholesale products to the public. The owner must identify the types of products he plans to sell in the wholesale license application. The products must be tangible products, such as clothing, books or crafts, whether the owner plans to sell retail or wholesale. The best thing the owner can do is create a list of all products being sold on behalf of the business, so the application is specific.

Business License

Business owners must have a general business license at the time of application. This means that the owners must be registered with a local county clerk or with the state’s secretary of state department, depending on the state’s business registration laws. At the time of registration, a general business license is issued that proves the business is legitimate and registered with the state.


The business owner must also have an employer identification number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service. The number is used primarily as an identification number on legal and business documents, including banking loans, local permits and the wholesale license. The EIN is free of charge and is issued immediately once the owner completes the SS-4 form on the IRS’ online application portal.

Employee Information

Part of the wholesaler license application includes informing the state where the business will be operating about the owner’s plans for hiring employees. In other words, the business owner must have a clear idea of how many employees she will be hiring within the next six months of the wholesale license application.

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