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Please Help Me Wade Through This...NYS regs...


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My friend and I are now ready to start selling some of our candles and air fresheners at the small, local craft shows. We have plenty of votives, melts, air fresheners - along with the candle accessories (warmers, votive holders, etc.) We have already sold at the local Public Market and some very small venues.

When I started looking into acquiring a sales tax#, I was told that we didn't need a regular sales tax id - we needed a vendor id. We went ahead and got that, but that now brings up so many other questions. Is that going to work if we decide to set up a DBA (which we feel we need in order to be able to put our business name on our items), can this be used when we purchase supplies, to avoid paying sales tax? We were going into this with the idea we were going to handle it as a "Joint Venture", but maybe we don't need to go that far if we are only selling at craft shows.

Any ideas? Has anyone been in our shoes and would like at give us some advice as to which direction we should be going?

As always, I appreciate any help you can give me.



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Vendor ID's in NY are cheap, or at least they used to be- 25.00.

This will only allow you to be a "seller" of goods, legally in NY state.

It doesn't cover you for tax exemption, in this state or any other.

Many craft shows require them here, plus a tax ID #. Once you get a tax ID, you have to do your paperwork every quarter, even if it shows you are not making a substantial amount of money. New York is very tough on the tax laws within the state. They will give you the literature when you apply for a number, and read it forward, backwards and sideways. Many times. :wink2:

You can get a tax ID # if you want to apply as a DBA.

Both parties will be legally responsible for maintaining accurate records and filing every quarter. If you just want to get a tax ID for yourself, all you need is a business license. The tax ID will make you tax exempt in NY state and you can fax a copy to an out of state supplier that charges taxes on their goods in NY state. Most suppliers out of state do not charge tax on internet orders, but some of the larger packaging companies do.

Some wholesale supplier sites are strictly business to business sales.

They will only allow you to purchase if you have a tax ID #.

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Ahhh, I thought this Sales Tax Vendor # WAS a form of sales tax ID. With this, we do have to claim sales tax every quarter. I thought this was going to cover us at the craft shows. Are you saying that some craft shows require more than just a Sales Tax Vendor ID?

I am sorry if I sound dense here....I think I have a "block head" when it comes to this. I just confuse myself more :undecided .

When I called Taxation and Finance and explained that I needed a sales tax # so that I could sell at craft shows, they referred me to the Vendor ID. Now we are wondering if we should have just gone the way of a DBA. Will it cause confusion is we decided to do a DBA at a future date, or would we just "cancel" the Sales Tax Vendor ID at that time?

Oh my goodness, I think I need a course in small business! This seems like it should be the easiest part and I am already confused. :o

Thanks so much for your help!


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Jane~ you can stiill do shows with a vendor ID.

Even those silly people you see in bars selling their wares, should have a vendor ID. NY state is one of the most critical on getting their piece of the pie. They don't care what you are selling either.

A few years back, my biggest competitor had her debut at the biggest fair here in probably 20 counties. She made well over 60K in sales. No typo, $60,000+ in candle sales in less four days. I know this because we both used to go to the same salon and those girls love to blab. So I contacted the person in charge of the vendors, and she told me I had to have a state tax ID#, AND a vendors license.

Now I am wondering if she really meant an EIN # and a vendor ID #, because no one goes to this fair without at least three people helping them in a booth. They probably want to ensure that vendors are completely legitimate, even with their hired help.

Mind you, this was probably around four years ago if not longer. I would call the office where you got your vendors ID, and have them send you the most current literature on what it can and cannot do for you as a business.

Not just talk, a hard copy in black and white.

I am going to search for a link- to give you more information.


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