Sales Tax for Small Business – How to Pay Sales Tax in LLC

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For taxes, one of the most important things you need to consider is the sales tax for small businesses. Every business, even a limited liability company, needs to pay the sales taxes as a part of the compliance requirement decided by the Department of Revenue. Hence, most business owners are always concerned about getting the sales tax permit, understanding the sales tax rates, and so on. On this page, we explain everything about the sales taxes and other related facts.

llc sales tax for small busineses

What Is Sales Tax?

Taxes are the amount you need to pay back to the government as a part of fees for allowing you to do business in the state or country. These taxes are the main source of revenue for different governments, including sales taxes.

A sales tax is actually a consumption tax that the government imposes on the sale of any good or service. These goods and services can be of any form. From the name itself, you can understand that the tax is levied only on the point of sale, i.e., the moment a selling transaction is made between two parties, which can be between businesses, a business and an individual, and between individuals.

Types of Sales Tax

According to the industry, there are four different types of taxes that are levied on a business at the point of sale. These are:

Sales Tax

This tax is levied when one entity is selling something to the other, be it a good or service. For example, let’s suppose an LLC business is selling its services to a group of locals in the city of Michigan. Now, the customer needs to pay a sales tax to the government when he buys the service from the Michigan LLC. Similarly, if your business is selling clothing to a retail shop, the shop owner will pay the sale tax since it is buying the goods from your business. These taxes are the main revenues for both the state and the federal government.

Use Tax

A use tax is a necessity when a purchase does not fulfill the requirements of sales tax. Following are the conditions under which the use tax is levied:

  • When you are selling your service or goods to another person or business in other states with no sales tax rules.
  • If the seller is not qualified for paying the sales tax, the use tax will be implemented.
  • When you are ordering a catalog from an online shop, and the mode of delivery is email. 


Exemptions are allowed to the consumer in many states where he is purchasing goods necessary for survival like groceries, clothing, and others. Here, the sales tax rate is lowered so that one can enjoy the saving of money during a transaction.

Excise Tax

When the business sale consists of goods not required for survival, like alcohol, tobacco, and others, the government will apply the excise tax on the cost of the goods. This particular tax reduces the risk of doing such business for both the manufacturing companies and the resellers.

Taxable Goods and Services

The main advantage of sales tax is that it is not applicable to all the goods and services that the buyers get in a particular state or country. When you are involved in a business, you need to understand which goods and services are taxable and which aren’t.


Any tangible product or property will be taxed under the goods section, no matter what kind of business services you are offering. Here are some of the examples of a taxable product against which the department of revenue will levy a sale tax.

  • Vehicles
  • Rental and personal properties
  • Furniture units
  • Computers
  • Home appliances
  • Raw materials
  • Gardening items
  • Books


Not all businesses come under the rules of sales taxes. Hence, you need to identify whether your business services are applicable for sales tax nexus or not. Here are some examples of business taxes that you have to pay in your county or city.

  • Services provided to any component of property like construction, installation, property maintenance services, and so on
  • Services provided to any real property like snow removal, lawn mowing, repairing, and so on
  • Businesses services like an advertisement, consultations, hiring of employees, and so on
  • Personal services like pet grooming, personal care, dry cleaning, and others

Importance of Sales Tax for a Small Business

Before you form an application to gain access to the sales taxes forms, you need to understand the importance of the same for the businesses.

  1. According to the sales taxes regulations, the revenue earned by the government will be used for community development, be it in the construction of public schools, parks, roads, or anything else.
  2. For public services and development situations, the government collects the sales taxes and uses them for the same.
  3. The protective services like the police force and the army expenses are somewhat gathered from the sales taxes paid by several businesses across the US.

Ways to Register for Sales Tax

As an employer or one of the active vendors in your state, you will need to pay the sales taxes. However, before you talk about the sales tax nexus and the sales tax return, you need to learn the way of registering for the sales tax.

Get the Seller’s Sales Tax Permit.

For both offline and online sellers, it is mandatory to gain a sales tax license or permit. The sales tax laws vary from one state to the other, and hence you need to connect with authority to know more about the process of registering yourself as compliant to pay the sales taxes.

  • Visit your state’s sales tax legislative online website.
  • Click on apply for a sales tax permit and fill up all the necessary details. These details will be related to your business structure.
  • At the time of filling up the details, make sure to keep the business formation paperwork close-by since one wrong detail and your request will be canceled. Also, you will need your EIN number for applying.
  • If there is a registration fee, you will have to make the payment at the time of submitting the application.

Calculate Sales Tax Obligations

The sales tax calculation depends on three main sales tax types, which we have discussed here, irrespective of the businesses or the products.

Store Sales

When you are involved in the traditional business of selling goods or services on the site of the business itself, you will have to consider the store sales. Here, the sales tax return is the same for everyone.

In-State Sales

If you are providing the services to different places within the same state, the in-state taxes will be levied.

Destination-Based Sales Tax

Businesses like Amazon and others have to pay this particular tax where it is calculated based on the address of the customer, especially when the purchase is made online.

Origin-Based Sales Tax

The origin-based sales tax is the one where the rate is calculated based on the origin address of the seller doing the business. 

Out-of-State Sales

For the out-of-state taxes, the business needs to have the nexus, and then only one will be compliant to pay the said tax.

How to Pay Sales Tax for Small Business

To pay Sales Tax for your small business, you need to determine whether your product/service is subjected to Sales Tax. If liable, you need to register for a Sales tax permit.

Paying sales tax can often be an intimidating task for small business owners. With so many other aspects of running a business demanding their attention, wrapping their heads around the intricacies of sales tax can seem like a daunting challenge. However, understanding and fulfilling these obligations is crucial for the success and legality of any business. In this editorial, we will explore some key points on how small business owners can navigate the process of paying sales tax.

First and foremost, it is important for small business owners to familiarize themselves with their respective state’s sales tax laws. Each state has its own unique set of regulations when it comes to collecting and remitting sales tax, so taking the time to research and comprehend these rules is crucial. Consulting a tax professional or reaching out to the state’s taxation department can provide invaluable guidance in this regard.

Next, business owners must determine whether they are required to collect sales tax. Different states have different thresholds when it comes to mandatory sales tax collection for small businesses. Some states have sales tax exemptions for businesses below a certain annual revenue, while others may enforce sales tax collection regardless of the revenue size. Identifying where your business falls in terms of exemption thresholds can help clarify your sales tax obligations.

After establishing the necessity to collect sales tax, the next step for small business owners is to apply for a sales tax permit. This permit enables businesses to legally collect sales tax from customers and is normally obtained from the state’s tax office. The application process typically involves providing various details about the business and its owners. Once the permit is obtained, it is crucial to prominently display it at your place of business to avoid any complications.

Once the sales tax permit is secured, it is time for small business owners to calculate the taxable amount. This can sometimes become complex, as exemptions and special rates could apply to certain products or services. Attention to detail and diligent record keeping will ensure accurate calculations of taxable sales. Utilizing accounting software or hiring a knowledgeable accountant can significantly simplify this process and minimize potential errors.

Small business owners must also be meticulous in keeping track of all sales tax collected and maintaining clear records. Unlike income tax, sales tax requires regular reporting and remittance. Typically, states require quarterly or monthly sales tax reporting, so it is crucial to mark these deadlines on calendars and stay on top of the reporting process. Late payments or non-compliance can result in penalties or, worse, legal repercussions.

Finally, business owners should familiarize themselves with different payment options offered by their states. Several states provide online portals to facilitate electronic sales tax filing and payment. Embracing these digital systems can streamline the process and save valuable time. However, some entrepreneurs may still prefer traditional methods such as checks or direct deposits; ensuring such payments are channeled promptly is equally important.

In conclusion, small business owners must approach paying sales tax with a sense of responsibility and compliance. By fully understanding their respective state’s sales tax regulations, obtaining the necessary permits, and diligently tracking and reporting sales tax, these business owners can navigate this often perplexing procedure successfully. Though it may seem overwhelming at first, with careful attention and adherence to legal requirements, paying sales tax can become a manageable aspect of running a small business.


What is the sales tax nexus?

Sales tax nexus is a legal term used to determine whether a business has any physical presence in another state or not. Several forms of nexus are present, like a physical address, a marketing affiliate, a temporary office location, and so on.

Are all the goods and services fall under the category of taxable product?

No, not all the products being sold are taxable. It is only the tangible properties that come under the sales tax department.

In Conclusion

Sales taxes are paid on the sales of the company. For a small business, the burden of the sales tax is much less. In this article, you have learned the types of sales taxes and how it works for a small business. To pay the sales tax you need to register your business with the state tax department. File your sales tax return to be up-to-date with the regulations.

About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

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