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No single authority regulates tobacco dealing in the United States. The federal government, states, cities and counties can issue their own laws and rules regarding the matter. You generally need a retail tobacco dealer registration if you want to sell tobacco products at a retail store or through vending machines. You will be responsible to find out all the laws and regulations that apply to your business. Failure to comply could result in fines, suspension of licenses or other penalties.
Contact your city or county office to find out which government body manages retail tobacco dealer licensing in your area of business. The name of the authority could differ greatly depending on the state, for example you have to contact the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York City, the county auditor in Ohio or the Department of Revenue in Georgia.
Contact the licensing body to determine your eligibility. For example, in New York City you have to already possess a business certificate, a sales tax identification number or certificate of authority application confirmation number, and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance retail dealer certificate of registration for cigarettes.
Request the application form from the governing authority and complete it. You will usually need to provide details of your business, including its legal structure, name and address. You will also have to provide your background details such as your licensing history and your criminal background.
Prepare all the supporting documents as requested by the governing authority. In New York City, the documents you have to present include proof of business address, proof of home address, and retail dealer certificate of registration for cigarettes from the state taxation office.
Submit your application to the governing body, along with applicable fees.
- cigarette image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com