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How to obtain Tobacco Wholesaler and Retailer License in the State of Ohio

Tobacco industry in the US is the most regulated and administered industry. It is mandatory to obtain relevant permits and licenses when manufacturing, importing, selling tobacco products. Here are some guidelines on how to obtain tobacco wholesaler and retail licenses in the State of Ohio.

What are other tobacco products?

Other tobacco products include cigars, snuff, pipe tobacco, cigarette tobacco, blunt wraps, and chewing tobacco other than cigarettes. Cigarette papers are not considered other tobacco products.

Who is a wholesaler?

Wholesale dealer is a person who brings in or cause to be brought in the State of Ohio unstamped cigarettes purchased directly from the manufacturer, producer or importer of cigarettes for sale in this state and any other person who brings cigarettes in Ohio for the purpose of resale.

Who is a tobacco retailer?

A tobacco retailer is a person who sells or offer to sell, any tobacco or other tobacco products for a consideration, directly to the consumers from a specified retail location.

How can I apply for a wholesale license?

Every wholesaler and distributor of the tobacco products are required to obtain a license from the Ohio department of taxation for distributing tobacco products in the State on form CIG-41 “Application for Wholesale Cigarette Dealer’s License”.

Similarly, every distributor of other tobacco products OTP is required to apply for the license on “Application for Other Tobacco Products Distributor License” OTP-1.

The cost of cigarette and other tobacco products wholesale/ distributor license is $1,000 per year and can be renewed every year for an appropriate fee of $1,000.

Do I need to apply for separate license for each location?

Yes, a separate license is needed for each individual retail sales location. Further, if business is moved from one location to another, a replacement license is issued for a fee of $25.

Which department has authority issue wholesale license?

The wholesale distributor license is issued by the Ohio Department of Taxation.

How can I apply for a retailer cigarette license?

The retail dealer cigarette license is issued by the respective County Auditor Offices of the State of Ohio. Any person who sells or transporting cigarettes in the respective county is required to apply for a license by filing ‘Application for Retail dealer Cigarettes License’ on form CIF-40. Fee for retail cigarette license is $125 for each retail location.

How can my cigarette retail license be renewed?

Retail license is renewable annually with the same fee of $125 on or before the 4th Monday of the May. Please note that you will be required to apply for a separate license for each retail location.

Do I need to have any other license/ permit for obtaining cigarette retail license?

Yes, for obtaining a retail license to sell cigarettes in the respective county, you also need to obtain a vendor license from the county. This license is needed for sales tax collection, filing of tax returns with payment of tax and maintaining complete records of transactions.

What are the responsibilities of a tobacco retail dealer?

  • Retail dealer should not engage in the sale of tobacco products at a location not specified in the retail license.
  • Cigarette Retailer should display the retail license at each retail location at a place that can be easily accessed for inspection.
  • A retailer or distributor or an agent of the retailer shall not sell or distribute any tobacco products to any person under age18

Who is liable to pay tobacco taxes and what are the basis of the tax in the Ohio?

1. Any wholesaler who

  • receives tobacco products from a manufacturer in the State of Ohio
  • receives untaxed tobacco products in Ohio or
  • any wholesaler outside Ohio who sells tobacco products to a wholesale or retail dealer in the state of Ohio.
2. Is liable to pay taxes on tobacco products as follow:
  • Cigarettes: $1.6 per pack of 20 cigarettes.
  • Cigars: 37% of the wholesale price.
  • Other Tobacco products: 17% of the wholesale price.

What are the due dates for filing tax return?

The Cigarette tax return is required to be filed along with tax payment on form MSA-60 on the last day of the month following the end of the reporting period. Late filing of Cigarette tax return is subject to a penalty of $1 per day till the date tax is paid.

The Other Tobacco Product return is filed on the 23rd of every month following the close of the reporting period. Late filing of return may impose a penalty of $ 50 or 10% of the tax due plus interest, whichever is greater.

Is Retail Cigarette Dealer license enough to sell cigars and the other tobacco products?

A separate license is acquired if you are buying cigars and other tobacco products from out of state suppliers, rather than the local suppliers otherwise a cigarette dealer license is good enough to buy and sell cigars locally.



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