How to Get a Resale Certificate in North Carolina 2024 - How to Start my LLC

How to Get a Resale Certificate in North Carolina

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Carolyn Young has over 25 years of experience in business in various roles, including bank management, marketing management, and business education.

Reviewed by: Sarah Ruddle

For over 15 years, Sarah Ruddle has been a noteworthy leader in the business and nonprofit world.

How to Get a Resale Certificate in North Carolina

How to Get a Resale Certificate in North Carolina

If you’re starting a limited liability company (LLC) in North Carolina and planning to sell goods subject to sales tax, you’ll need to get a resale certificate, or several of them, before doing business. 

But don’t worry; this guide lays out all you need to do to get a resale certificate in North Carolina.

What Is a Resale Certificate?

If your LLC expects to sell tangible goods in North Carolina, a resale certificate will enable you to purchase those goods without paying sales tax. This prevents your goods from being double taxed, as you will need to charge your customer’s sales tax when they buy the goods. 

If you purchase goods without paying sales tax and neglect to charge sales tax to customers who buy those goods, or if you fail to sell the goods, you and your LLC will be responsible for the sales tax and could face steep fines. 

If you purposely purchase an item not intended for resale, such as office equipment, and use your resale certificate to avoid paying sales tax, that’s tax fraud, a federal offense.

In North Carolina, the penalty for tax fraud is repayment of the tax owed plus a 50% penalty and possibly two years in prison.

Each resale certificate applies to only one vendor, so you’ll need one for each vendor. 

Suppliers and vendors do not have to accept resale certificates. A vendor might refuse a resale certificate if your certificate is invalid, and the vendor would be responsible for the sales tax.

How to Obtain a Resale Certificate in North Carolina 

To obtain a resale certificate, known as an exemption certificate in North Carolina, visit the Department of Revenue website to download the form.


Select exemption certificate forms and download the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption form. 


Obtaining the certificate is free; you can use it as soon as it’s filled out.

Once you have the certificate, present it to your vendor and keep a copy for your records.

Does a Resale Certificate Expire in North Carolina?

North Carolina exemption certificates do not expire as long as one transaction is made in 12 months. 

In Closing

In North Carolina, an exemption certificate is relatively easy to obtain yet provides significant savings. It will also help you and your LLC avoid potentially significant penalties. 

Be sure to present the correct certificate to your vendors and keep track of expiration dates, so your certificates are always current. You don’t want to find yourself paying sales tax when you don’t have to.