General Vendor

COVID-19 ALERT

For health and safety reasons, the DCA Licensing Center and NYC Small Business Support Center cannot serve walk-ins, but you can schedule an appointment to submit your license application in person. See Application Filing Process section.

Note: As in-person service is limited, we encourage you to use our online service which is available 24/7 at nyc.gov/BusinessToolbox.

General Vendor License Application Checklist

Important Note about Eligibility

You can apply for a General Vendor license if:
  • You are a veteran or surviving spouse or domestic partner of a veteran. See Requirements.
  • DCA contacts you with a waiting list number.
    The number of licenses issued to non-veterans is limited by law to 853. DCA’s waiting list for non-veteran applicants is currently closed. The waiting list will not reopen for further registration until DCA has run through the current pool of non-veteran applicants.

Who Must Have a General Vendor License?

You must have a General Vendor license if you sell, lease, or offer to sell or lease goods or services in a public place that is not a store.

You do NOT need a General Vendor license to sell:
  • Newspapers, periodicals, books, pamphlets, or other written matter.
  • Artwork, including paintings, photographs, prints, and sculptures.
  • Food. Note: Food vending requires a license from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Call 311 or visit nyc.gov/health for information about food cart vendor licenses and permits.
  • Items at a garage sale on private property.
  • Merchandise from a booth or stand at an authorized Street Fair (e.g., street fair, block party, or festival). Please note that you must obtain a Temporary Street Fair Vendor Permit to sell merchandise at an authorized Street Fair.
This description is only a general explanation of which individuals need to have a General Vendor license.

Quick List of Requirements to Apply for a General Vendor License

See Requirements section for detailed descriptions. Make sure you provide all requirements; otherwise, your application is incomplete. DCA can only consider complete applications for license issuance.
  • Basic License Application
  • Proof of Eligibility to Apply for a General Vendor License
  • Current Color Passport-size Photograph of License Applicant
  • Certificate of Authority
  • General Vendor Questionnaire
  • General Vendor Residence Form
  • Proof of Home Address
  • Proof of Tax Clearance (if applicable)
  • Proof of Service-Related Disability (if applicable)
  • General Vendor Non-NYC Resident Form (if applicable)
  • License and Clearance Fees (if applicable)
Submitting your application does not mean your license is automatically approved.

Requirements

DCA will deny your application if you do not submit these required documents and information:
 
  • Proof of Eligibility to Apply for a General Vendor License
    DCA accepts applications for a General Vendor license from the following individuals only:
    • Individuals who received a letter from DCA indicating that you are eligible to submit an application for a General Vendor license. OR
    • Honorably discharged veterans*. OR
    • Veterans*† who received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable who submit proof, in a form approved by the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services, of a qualifying condition, including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or military sexual trauma. OR
    • LGBT veterans*† who received a discharge other than bad conduct or dishonorable who submit proof, in a form approved by the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services, that discharge was due to their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression or due to statements, conduct, or acts related to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression that were prohibited by the military or naval service at the time of discharge. OR
    • The surviving spouse or domestic partner* of an honorably discharged veteran, a discharged veteran with a qualifying condition, or a discharged LGBT veteran, as defined above.

    • *Must reside in New York State.
      †Visit veterans.ny.gov for more information for veterans with qualifying conditions and LGBT veterans.

    Please submit ONE of the following documents as proof of your eligibility to apply for a General Vendor license:

    • An original letter from DCA indicating that you are eligible to submit an application for a General Vendor license. OR
    • Proof of discharge from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), such as:
      • Original statement of service OR
      • Original DD Form 214, Discharge Papers, or Separation Documents OR
      • Member 4 copy of the DD Form 214, Discharge Papers, or Separation Documents OR
      • Other official or government records confirming your status as a discharged veteran with a qualifying condition or a discharged LGBT veteran as stated above

      • Contact information for the New York Regional Office:
        245 West Houston Street
        New York, NY 10014
        Telephone: (800) 827-1000
        Website: www.archives.gov/veterans

    • If you are the surviving spouse or domestic partner of a veteran, provide ALL of the following documents:
      • Proof of marriage or domestic partnership (e.g., original marriage certificate, original certificate of domestic partnership, joint lease or mortgage documents). Please note that proof is subject to DCA’s review and approval. AND
      • Original death certificate AND
      • ONE proof of honorable discharge (See above.)
  • Current color passport-size photograph of License Applicant

  • In Person: DCA will photograph license applicants at no cost in the DCA Licensing Center or NYC Small Business Support Center. Applicants can also submit a current color passport-size photograph

    Online: License applicants can upload an image file of digital passport photo quality. A digital camera with a resolution of 1 mega-pixel is adequate.
  • Certificate of Authority.
    You must submit a copy of your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority showing your Sales Tax Identification Number.

    To apply for a Certificate of Authority, visit the New York State License Center at aca.licensecenter.ny.gov. You will need a NY.gov ID to access the application form. To request a paper application, call (518) 485-2889. Allow four to six weeks after applying to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to receive your Certificate of Authority.
  • General Vendor Questionnaire (download)
  • General Vendor Residence Form (download)
  • Proof of Home Address
    Submit a copy of ONE of the following documents as proof of home address:
    • Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days (e.g., telephone, gas, electric, cable, or water) OR
    • Current lease or deed OR
    • Current rent or mortgage bill OR
    • Driver’s license

    If you live at another person’s address, provide:
    • Letter signed by the leaseholder indicating that you live at the address AND
    • ONE proof of home address (per above) with the leaseholder’s name

    Note: If you are applying as a veteran, you must be a New York State resident.
  • Proof of Tax Clearance (if applicable)
    If you are a New York State resident and an honorably discharged veteran who previously held a General Vendor license, submit a:
    • New York City Vendor Tax Clearance Certificate AND
    • New York State Certificate of Tax Clearance

    You may obtain clearance applications by emailing onlineappsdocs@dca.nyc.gov or scheduling an appointment to visit the DCA Licensing Center at 42 Broadway in lower Manhattan. Please note that taxes, penalties, or interest may be due before you can obtain tax clearance.
  • Proof of Service-Related Disability (if applicable)
    If you are a veteran with a service-related disability and would like to apply for the Citywide Specialized vending license (Yellow) and Midtown Core Zone vending license (Blue), you must:
  • General Vendor Non-NYC Resident Form (if applicable) (download)
    If you are not a New York City resident, you must complete and submit the General Vendor Non-NYC Resident Form.
  • License and Clearance Fees
    See chart below for license fee for non-veterans.

    Note:
    • Eligible veterans and the surviving spouses or domestic partners of eligible veterans who reside in New York State do not need to pay a license fee.
    • If you are a New York State resident and a veteran who previously held a General Vendor license, you must pay a $10 NYC Department of Finance clearance fee payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
    License Period: 1 year; Expiration Date: September 30.
If You File Your Application Between These Dates: Your License Fee is:
From October 1 to March 30 $200
From March 31 to September 30 $100

Pay by:
  • Check or money order payable to DCA. (In person)
  • Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card only). You will be charged a nonrefundable Convenience Fee. (In person or online)

Application Filing Process

File in person
Schedule an appointment to file in person at the DCA Licensing Center or NYC Small Business Support Center.
DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS (DCA) LICENSING CENTER
42 Broadway, Lobby
New York, NY 10004
NYC SMALL BUSINESS
SUPPORT CENTER

90-27 Sutphin Blvd, 4th Floor
Jamaica, NY 11435

By Email:
LicensingAppointments@dca.nyc.gov
By Phone*: Call (212) 436-0441. (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

*This number is to schedule an appointment for in-person service only. For general questions, email onlineappsdocs@dca.nyc.gov.

Free Interpretation Services
are available on-site. To request a disability-related accommodation, please email DCA's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator at humancapital@dca.nyc.gov or visit our Accommodations page.

File Online
  1. Please review requirements for the license and gather all materials before clicking the button below.
  2. If you haven’t registered an account with the City of New York, you will need to register an account before you can proceed to the online application.
  3. After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the confirmation page. DCA cannot process incomplete applications.
  4. After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the confirmation page. DCA cannot process incomplete applications.
  5. Important: If you need to file another license application, return to the DCA Business Toolbox to read requirements and proceed to the online application.


Additional Resources for General Vendor

  • For resources to help your business open, operate, and grow, visit nyc.gov/business.
  • For the laws and rules that may affect your business, visit our Laws page.

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Page updated 11/2020.