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Guidelines for applying distributor and subjobber tobacco and
cigarette license in the state of Minnesota
Who is a tobacco distributor?

Any person who manufacture tobacco products, bring, ship or import tobacco products in Minnesota from outside the state to the retailers in the state.

Who is a subjobber?

Any person who acquires tobacco products from distributors for the purpose of sale to retailers and any other person who is a licensed distributor for selling tobacco products from a business not covered in the distributor’s license.

How to apply for a distributor and subjobber license?

If you are a distributor or subjobber in the State of Minnesota, you can apply for cigarette and tobacco license on form CT-100 and CT-101 before selling and distributing cigarettes in Minnesota. You have to apply for a separate license for each location.

These licenses are issued by the Department of Revenue, State of Minnesota.

What is the fee for tobacco licenses in Minnesota?

If you are a distributor of cigarettes and tobacco products, you have to pay a license fee of $300 for cigarettes and $75 for tobacco products license.

If you are a subjobber in the State, you will be charged with the license fee of $24 for cigarettes and $20 for tobacco products license.

The above fees are reduced to half if licenses are issued in the second half of a fiscal year.

Distributor and subjobber tobacco licenses are valid for a period of two years and can be renewed by filing same application forms with the department of revenue state office.

Should I apply for separate distributor license for each business location?

Yes, this is the State requirement that if you are a licensed tobacco distributor, you have to apply for a separate distributor license for each location from which you plan to distribute tobacco products. Same rules apply for a subjobber license for operating business for each separate location.

Guidelines for applying a tobacco retailer's license in the state of Minnesota
Who is a tobacco retailer?

Any person who engages in the practice of selling cigarettes and tobacco products to consumers and includes the owner of a coin-operated vending machine and/or vehicle from which these products are sold.

Who is eligible to apply for tobacco retailer license?

Any person who sells cigarette and other tobacco products to the public in Minnesota must have a Minnesota Cigarette and tobacco products retail license before purchasing and selling tobacco products.

How to apply for a retailer license?

An application for a license to sell tobacco products, tobacco related devices or electronic delivery devices shall be made on a form provided by the County. The application shall contain the full name of the applicant, residential and business addresses, telephone numbers, the name of the business and any additional information the County deems necessary. If you are a tobacco retailer, you need to file an application for license to sell tobacco products’ along with the State retail license application form CT-102 to your respective county or city office. A separate license is required for each retail location or vending machine.

Who has the authority to issue retail license in Minnesota?

Retail license is issued by the respective county, city or town office in which the retailer business is located. You can visit your city or county official site for filing an application for retail license.

What is the tobacco retail license fee?

Tobacco retail license fee varies for each county, town or city. Typically it ranges from $100 to $500.

Should I apply for a separate permit for each location?

Yes, you have to apply for a separate cigarette and other tobacco retail license for each separate retail location or vending machine from which tobacco products are to be sold.

Can a retail license be renewed?

Retail tobacco license is valid for one year. The renewal of a license shall be handled in the same manner as the original application. The applicant‘s request for a renewal shall be made at least thirty days but no more than sixty days before the expiration of the current license.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a tobacco retailer?

  • It is the retailer's duty to post and display all licenses on the licensed premises in plain view of the general public and shall exhibit same to any person upon request.
  • The retailer should keep records of all invoices of cigarettes and tobacco products at each licensed location.
  • The retailer should purchase an inventory of cigarettes from a licensed tobacco distributor and subjobber in the State of Minnesota.
  • The retailer should allow the Department of revenue staff to enter and inspect the place of business even without a search warrant.
  • The retailer can only sell those tobacco products, which have a paid tax stamp affixed to them.

Are there any fines and penalties for non-compliance of the rules?

  • Any person possessing or receiving any untaxed tobacco products.
  • Any person selling cigarettes and other tobacco products when his or her license has been revoked.
  • Any person purchasing tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor or subjobber in the State of Minnesota.
Will be subject to civil and criminal penalties under the State laws, including heavy fines and revocation of tobacco license.

What are the requirements of filing Tax return in the State of Minnesota?

All Cigarette and tobacco tax returns are required to be filed on Forms CT-201 and CT-301. This return along with payment of tax id due to be submitted monthly on the 18th of the month following the reporting period. You have to file a return for cigarette tax even if you have no tax liability for that particular month.

Failure to file cigarette and tobacco tax return on time will impose a penalty on you for an amount of 5% of the unpaid tax for each day of non-payment of tax.

Failure to file tax payment on time is subjected to a penalty of 5% of the unpaid tax up to a maximum 15% rate.

In addition to above penalties, a further interest can also be charged on the unpaid amount of tax.

What is a Minnesota Tax ID?

In order to file your return of income and payment of tax, state requires you to have a unique seven digit identification number called Minnesota tax id. It is the same as sales or withholding tax number. Minnesota tax id is issued by the Department of revenue, the State of Minnesota.

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