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Do You Need a License to Sell Smoking Accessories?

This will vary depending on your state, county, or city. Over-the-counter smoking accessories sales will necessitate a tobacco license in 39 US states. A license certifies that you are permitted by local ordinance to market cigarettes and other smoking accessories under state statute.

The state can dismiss requests, so make sure you complete all the requirements when applying for your license. A retail tobacco license grants a company the constitutional ability to sell cigarettes and other smoking goods. When acquired, you should prominently display your retail tobacco license in your establishment.

You should also abide by the FDA’s rules for branding, advertising, and endorsement. These permits and licenses are necessary since they guarantee that your enterprise complies with state and municipal legislation. You may even need to obtain them prior to actually choosing a location.

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Basic Licenses Needed to Sell Smoking Accessories

Your obligations as a seller of smoking accessories differ from state to state, however certain basic guidelines are applicable to all locations. Here are some fundamental licenses to consider.

  1. Tobacco License

Depending on where you conduct your business, most states mandate an RTL (Retail Tobacco License), which indicates that an enterprise is entitled to auction smoking products in accordance with state law. Although most states allow you to apply for a license online, several states mandate that you make an in-person application. Keep in mind that based on your state, you must renew your license each year and or twice yearly.

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How to Apply

The application process for a tobacco license differs by state. Licenses are typically legitimate for 12 or 24 months and cannot be relocated. You should also have a different license for every retail establishment. Consult your state’s agency or explore your state’s official site to locate the forms and fees you need.

  1. Retail Seller Permit

In order to sell smoking accessories in your state, you may need to obtain a special permit. A seller’s permit is typically free. However, you may be required to put down a damage deposit to protect any taxes owed if the company goes out of business. The sum of the deposit will often depend on the time of application.

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How to Apply

  • Obtain the application from the appropriate state agency.
  • Gather the information and documents you’ll need to complete the application.
  • Pay the fee to get your reseller certificate.
  • Learn when and if you need to renew your reseller permit.
  1. Business Operation License

Each state in the United States requires a business license. You can apply for your business license at your state department through the US Small Business Administration.

On a form, you only need to provide your social security number and profession. A business license typically costs $100, but it can range from $50 to $400. It should be noted that an additional processing fee of approximately $25 can be included.

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How to Apply

Check your city to find out how to apply. A typical business license costs less than $100 and is not required in every city.

  1. Doing Business As (DBA) License

A Doing Business As (DBA) License enables you to operate your business under a name other than your own. For instance, if you want to use the company trade name “Chris Smoking Accessories,” you must file a DBA, LLC, or corporation. A DBA is not obligated; it is something to consider obtaining because it helps you to open a business bank account.

How to Apply

If you want to register a DBA, contact your county or state.

  1. Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

It is worth noting that every state receives sales tax on goods sold to consumers. Normally, the state tax is 8% of the price of smoking accessories. You can sign up for this free Tax Identification Number at the tax office in your state. You will have to make available your business license, private details, and an elaboration of the goods you plan to sell.

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How to Apply

Online incorporation services charge around $75 for an EIN. However, the IRS does not charge for it, so you can get it for free by going directly to them. You can apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) online with the IRS.

  1. Certificate of Occupancy

You should also demonstrate that your site is appropriate for the business you intend to initiate. A smoking accessories business must meet detailed water installation and chemical treatment requirements; therefore you should have the property examined before opening your doors.

The Certificate of Occupancy is a document issued by a local government agency or building department that certifies that your property meets the requirements for this type of business.

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How to Apply

Based on where your business is operating and the magnitude of your property, a Certificate of Occupancy costs between $20 and $80. Commercial spaces less than 1500 square feet are typically around $30, while larger ones can cost up to $80.

That this certificate will only be granted after all evaluation checks are finished. Among the inspections performed are an electrical inspection, a plumbing inspection, a fire safety inspection, and a general building inspection.


As previously stated, this will vary depending on your state, county, or city. In the 39 US states, over-the-counter smoking accessory sales will require a tobacco license. These permits and licenses are required because they ensure that your business complies with state and municipal laws. You may also need to obtain them before deciding on a location.