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Instructions for the Application for a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority

See the Before you begin Checklist to ensure you have all of the required information at hand to complete the application.  

 Complete this application to obtain your Sales Tax Certificate of Authority, which gives you the right to:

  • collect tax on your taxable sales; and
  • issue and accept most New York State sales tax exemption certificates.

You must collect sales tax from your customers and remit it to the Tax Department with your sales tax return; otherwise, you may be responsible for paying these uncollected taxes yourself.

The Tax Department will process your application, and, if approved, mail your Certificate of Authority to you. Do not make any taxable sales until you have received your Certificate of Authority.

Do not complete this application if you are changing or updating information such as the name, identification (ID) number, physical address, responsible person information, or business activity. See Tax Bulletin Amending or Surrendering a Certificate of Authority (TB-ST-25).

Who must register

You must register with the Tax Department and get a Certificate of Authority if you plan to do any of the following in New York State:

  • sell tangible personal property or provide certain taxable services
  • collect state and local sales tax
  • issue or receive New York State sales tax exemption documents
  • operate a hotel or motel or receive amusement charges

If you are unsure whether you need to register, see Tax Bulletin Do I Need to Register for Sales Tax? (TB-ST-175).

When to register

You must apply for a Certificate of Authority at least 20 days before you:

  • make taxable sales
  • provide taxable services within New York State
  • issue or accept New York State exemption documents

Once you are registered:

Display your Certificate of Authority

We will mail you a Certificate of Authority if we approve your application.

  • You must display your certificate in plain view at your place of business.
  • If you have more than one location, display a certificate at each location with the appropriate address corresponding to that location.
  • If you don't have a regular place of business, attach the certificate to your cart, stand, or truck so that it is visible.

Keep required records

As a registered sales tax vendor, you must keep accurate and complete records of all sales and purchases that you make. You will need to provide these records to the Tax Department if your sales tax returns are selected for audit. If your records are considered inadequate, you will be subject to:

  • an estimated audit methodology to determine any additional taxes due,
  • penalties and interest if additional tax is found to be due, and
  • possibly criminal penalties for willfully failing to maintain proper records.

To learn more about your recordkeeping responsibilities, see Tax Bulletin Recordkeeping Requirements for Sales Tax Vendors (TB-ST-770).

Also see Tax Bulletin Sales and Use Tax Penalties (TB-ST-805).

When to file and pay

In general, new vendors must file quarterly returns.

As part of your application for a Certificate of Authority, you must indicate the date you plan on beginning business. You must file your first sales tax return for the sales tax quarter that includes this date.

You must file this return even if you do not start your business as originally planned. You will automatically receive a bill if you miss the required due date of your first return. The minimum penalty is $50.

Sales tax quarter

Due date

March 1 - May 31

June 20

June 1 - August 31

September 20

September 1 - November 30

December 20

December 1 - February 28 (29)

March 20

If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, you must file your return by the first business day after the due date.

For example, if you indicate that you plan on beginning business on July 15, you must file your first sales tax return for the period of June 1 - August 31 by September 20.

You can easily file your sales tax returns online using the Tax Department's Sales Tax Web File. Create an Online Services account for your business so you can:

  • Web File sales tax returns,
  • make payments,
  • receive email alerts (such as filing reminders), and
  • view and pay bills and notices.

See Tax Bulletin Filing Requirements for Sales and Use Tax Returns (TB-ST-275).

Establish a segregated bank account for sales taxes

As a registered sales tax vendor, New York State and your customers are entrusting you to collect the right amount of tax and timely remit it to New York State. You must not use sales tax money to pay for business or personal expenses under any circumstance. To avoid this, you should maintain a separate bank account for your sales tax money. This will ensure that you are able to pay the sales tax when due.

To learn more about your sales tax responsibilities, see:

Application for a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority Checklist

Before you begin completing the application, make sure you have the following information:

Reason for applying: (ex: starting a new business, change in organization, updating sales tax account, restarting sales tax account, restarting prior business, purchased existing business or adding a location)

Contact information for the business: Legal name, federal employer ID number, business address, phone number, email address

Entity Type: (ex: sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership and corporation)

Date you will begin business for sales tax purposes: Date that you will begin selling tangible personal property or providing taxable services within New York State, begin issuing or accepting New York State exemption certificates or acquire all or part of the assets of an existing business

Bank account information: (account number and routing number) where you deposit sales tax money (manufacturers and wholesalers should just provide their business bank account information.)

License number(s): (ex: New York State Liquor Authority, New York State Lottery, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles-only for registered facilities such as car dealers and repair shops)

Tax preparer information: (address, phone number, and preparer's federal EIN) if your business uses a preparer to complete sales tax returns.

Business contacts' and responsible persons' information: You will need the following detailed information for each business contact:

  • name,
  • business title,
  • home address,
  • home phone number,
  • ownership percentage, and
  • profit distribution percentage.

In addition to the above information, you will also need the following information for each responsible person:

  • social security number,
  • effective date of assuming business responsibilities, and
  • primary business duties.

Use Form DTF-17.1, Business Contact and Responsible Person Questionnaire, to obtain the information required for each RP of the business. Retain a copy of the questionnaire for your records for each person.

Detailed instructions

Sections A - C

Section D & Additional Locations

Sections E, F, & G

Sections H, I, & J

Sections K & L

Updated: