woman holds a box of items as if she were a reseller

How to Become a Reseller in Illinois

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We recently had a client ask us what was required to become a reseller in Illinois. We figured why not take that information and make it a little more relatable to all of our awesome retail readers!

What is a reseller?

First, let’s start with making it clear what, exactly, a reseller is. A reseller is a company or owner that purchases wholesale merchandise and “resells” it through other outlets, whether online or in a more traditional retail environment.

There are any number of reseller store setups, products sold and reasons why you may want to become a reseller. Maybe you want to supplement existing services you offer with related products. Perhaps you have an “in” on a good source or manufacturer for new merchandise that you’re confident will sell well. Whatever your reason, here are a few good things to know if you wish to become a reseller in Illinois:

First, establish a solid business plan and make sure you are aware of the market trends. (Your plan should at the very least include an executive summary, a budget and financial projections -get in touch for our outsourced CFO or controller services!-, and a marketing strategy). Next, reach out to your seller or manufacturer to apply to be a retailer or stockist for their product. Then, come to an agreement of how you will be compensated for your business.

Reseller compensation models

There are two different compensation models you are likely to choose from:

  1. Buy Rate Model: You purchase the merchandise, then resell it at an appropriate market price for profit; and
  2. Percentage Model: You have an agreement with the manufacturer to sell the product at a designated price. Then you’re paid a percentage for each unit sold.

You will have to determine with the seller what model you will use. Make sure you know the conditions of your agreement and compensation in detail before signing anything. Better yet, have a lawyer look over your Terms & Conditions.

Related Read: Pricing your Product: Choosing the Right Pricing Model

Now for the “fun” stuff

In order to become a business that is authorized to purchase merchandise that is exempt from tax, you will need to obtain either a retailer account ID number or a reseller resale number. Once you have obtained your number, you will need to complete the State of Illinois Form CRT-61 Certificate of Resale.

If you’re not already a registered business you will need to fill out a certificate of registration or business application allowing you to do business in the State of Illinois.  The certificate of registration, which you must display in your workplace, is the legal authorization to perform business. You can find out more about applying to register your business here.

Important Forms to Become a Reseller

Know the local tax requirements

Once you’re registered as a reseller, be wary of these “tax traps”:

  1. If you are registered as a reseller and sell any product to a consumer in Illinois, then you would be obligated to collect sales tax.
  2. If you end up reselling through a fulfillment agent like Amazon, you might be subjecting yourself to filing requirements in other states if the agent is holding your inventory in other states.

Have more questions about the tax implications of becoming a reseller in Illinois? Contact our Tax Services Team to help!

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