Do you have to obtain a license or permit to sell fireworks?
Since we’re in a well-regulated business, you can expect to obtain at least one or two licenses to sell fireworks. This should come as no surprise, considering how some places in the U.S. do not allow fireworks whatsoever. Continue reading to learn how to prepare for the various regulatory requirements.
You Absolutely Need a License or Permit to Sell Fireworks
You will need licensing and permits, and some jurisdictions may require you to have more than one. The first one to focus on is the state fire marshal permit for retail sales.
Most states have some version of this, so you can expect to need it right off the bat. You can contact the state fire marshal’s office to get one, which usually isn’t too difficult.
Then there are local licenses that will allow you to sell in a particular town, city, county, or region. It is basically the same concept as the fire marshal permit, but at the local level. These are in place to protect against unsafe selling or marketing of powerful fireworks and explosives.
The third permit you’ll probably need is a retail tax permit. This lets you collect sales taxes on your fireworks before sending the right portion to the state. Normally, the state will parse out the state and local taxes, so you don’t have to handle every detail by yourself.
There are, however, certain areas that do things differently. Pennsylvania, for example, imposes fireworks surcharges along with the sales taxes.
Is it Hard to Get a License or Permit to Sell Fireworks?
These permits are relatively simple to obtain. Most of it involves going through your state government website to get everything. For local licensing, you may have to go to city hall or the county office.
How much do permits cost?
They can range anywhere from $5 to $5,000, depending on jurisdiction. You’ll want to research these things in advance to make sure you have enough capital if your community charges a lot. The state tax permits are normally free, but there’s a lot of variation on the price of the state/local fire Marshall licenses.
The fireworks business is highly competitive, under heavy regulation, and you will have to handle lots of inspections. As a salesperson, you should be ready to receive periodic inspections from the fire Marshall and other officials.
On the accounting side, don’t forget to factor in the sales taxes. If you cannot handle this, or cannot get organized, it will be impossible to do well. Although it’s a very rewarding business, it involves a lot of work to keep up with all the requirements.
Know What’s Lawful in Your Jurisdiction
Since we’re discussing licenses, permits, and regulations, we should review a few things about fireworks legality. One reason we call fireworks a “seasonal business” is because many places only allow you to sell them during the week of 4th of July. Of course, it’s crucial to know that before you embark on a new business.
Call Black Cat Anytime for Support
Black Cat Fireworks has enjoyed over 70 years of selling safe, high-quality fireworks to customers all across America.
The truth is that we’ve gotten so large and popular that we need help from dedicated entrepreneurs like you to market our fine products with our patented brand. That’s why we offer substantial sales support to distributors, wholesalers, and other vendors through our partnership program. It’s never been easier to learn how to sell fireworks, gain access to useful marketing materials, and even earn visibility for your operation with our business locator website tool.
If you’d like to learn more about obtaining a license or permit to sell fireworks, you’re welcome to contact us anytime for further assistance.