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Do You Need a Vendors License to Sell Bottled Water in 2023?

The answer will vary based on the state or city you intend to sell bottled water. The FDA regulates bottled water sold in the United States, but most state governments impose their own requirements for bottled water sold within their boundaries.

Also, note that the regulations will also apply to bottled water produced both inside and outside of the regulating state. Along with the information noted above, also note that some states mandate licensing fees.

However, note that these fees will vary depending on your state. For instance, there are no licensing fees for bottlers selling in Georgia; howbeit, bottlers selling in New Jersey are expected to pay an initial licensing fee of $1,100. There are no licensing fees in the state of New York currently, but bottlers who intend to do business in New York City will be required to pay a fee of $695.

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Also, have it in mind that the time it takes to get your license will vary from a few weeks to over six months depending on the state and bottler. A good number of states, like New York, are quite precise about the kind of information they need to validate your application. You will be asked to make modifications if anything is missing from your application.

License Needed to Sell Bottled Water

  1. Business License

In most places in the United States, this license is a must regardless of the sort of business you intend to start. This general business license is meant to prove that an entrepreneur has obtained the legal authorization to conduct commercial activities within the boundaries of an existing town, city, or county.

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How to Apply

To apply for your business license, you will have to visit your Secretary of state office. You might only be expected to fill out a form with your social security number and profession. This license will cost around $100, but the cost can range from $50 to $400. An additional processing fee of about $25 can also be added.

  1. Food Establishment Permit

In certain states, bottled water is also classified in the same category as foods, and businesses involved are expected to obtain food establishment permits. Have it in mind that this permit works to prove that you have adhered to health and safety regulations.

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How to Apply

To obtain this permit, you have to apply either online or in person at your local health department. It is also possible to apply for either temporary, fixed, or mobile permits.

  1. Seller’s Permit

The seller’s permit (also known as a Sales Tax Permit) is meant to identify you as a business that is qualified to collect sales tax. In most places in the United States, bottled water sellers will have to obtain a seller’s permit.

How to Apply

To obtain this permit, you will have to visit your local government’s website.

  1. Resale Permit

Although this will depend on your state and location, the essence of this permit is to ensure that you can get specific nontaxable purchases.

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Resale certificates make it possible to avoid the double collection of sales tax on purchases. It simply entails that rather than collecting sales tax on the product when you initially purchase them, it’s only collected when your customer buys it.

How to Apply

Depending on your state or city, you might have to apply via your government website.

  1. Building Health Permit

Also note that in most places, your building will first have to pass an inspection to ensure you can obtain a building health permit. Ideally, this permit is made available by your city or county health department when you apply for your business license.

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How to Apply

Have it in mind that not every state or province requires a building health permit. Take your time to find out if it is required in your state or city. Also, remember that your building will be inspected before you get this permit. Expect periodic inspections as well.

  1. Employer Identification Number

Same as with a business license, all businesses are expected to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to conduct business or commercial activities in the U.S. This nine-digit number is a tax ID that makes it possible for you to properly file your taxes.

How to Apply

According to the IRS, there are three steps necessary to apply for an EIN online.

  • Check if you are eligible
  • Finish the online application
  • Submit your application
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The licenses and permits you need to sell bottled water will vary depending on the location of your business and where you intend to sell your products. However, note that the most cost-effective and time-saving way to get all the licenses you need is to reach out to the appropriate authorities very early in the process.