Getting Started for Grocery Stores

If you own a business in California, and you expect to be making taxable sales, you must register with us for a seller's permit and file regular sales and use tax returns. You may be required to register for other licenses or accounts using our online registration service and file other returns. Listed below are other tax and fee programs that may be applicable to grocery stores.

Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act

You must register with us for a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer's License if you intend to purchase and sell cigarettes or tobacco products (for retail licensing purposes only, tobacco products include nicotine products that are intended for human consumption, electronic smoking or vaping devices, or any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product) at retail. You must obtain this license in addition to your seller's permit. A retailer's license is valid for a 12-month period, is not assignable or transferable, and must be renewed annually. A license fee payment is required for each retail location at initial registration and every year at the time of renewal and may not be prorated. You may refer to our Tax Rates – Special Taxes and Fees page for cigarette and tobacco products retailer's license fee amounts. Prospective licensees should consult with their local health department before applying for a California Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer's License to determine if there is a local licensing requirement in their community and to learn how to comply with its requirements. In some cases, local licensing requirements may be more restrictive than state licensing requirements. You may not purchase or sell cigarettes and/or other tobacco products without a valid Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer's License.

Cigarettes must have the valid California cigarette tax stamp affixed to each package and tobacco products must be tax-paid.

For more information on the cigarette and tobacco products tax and licensing program, refer to publication 78, Sales of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products in California, and the Cigarette and Tobacco Products tax guide.


Online Registration — Register with us for your seller's permit and apply for any of the licenses, permits, or accounts listed above, or add a business location to an existing account.

If you have already registered with us, you'll find these tools helpful in maintaining your account.

Filing and Payments

Notice of Business Change — Keep your information current by using the links below and notifying us of any business changes.