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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 if:
- You sell newspapers, periodicals, books, pamphlets, or other written matter.
- You sell artwork, including paintings, photographs, prints, and sculptures.
- You sell 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.
- You sell items at a garage sale on private property.
- You will only sell 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.
Important Note about Eligibility
You can apply for a General Vendor license if the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) contacts you with a waiting list number. The maximum number of General Vendor licenses that DCA issues 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 re-open for further registration until DCA has run through the current pool of non-veteran applicants.
Exception: If you are an honorably discharged veteran or the surviving spouse or domestic partner of an honorably discharged veteran and reside in New York State, you are eligible to apply for a General Vendor license.
When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application:
- Basic Individual License Application
Online submission: After reviewing the application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of the Web page to submit your application.
In-person submission: Download the Basic Individual License Application Form.
- Proof of Eligibility to Apply for a General Vendor License
Currently, DCA only accepts applications for a General Vendor license from individuals who have an approved DCA waiting list number; honorably discharged veterans; or the surviving spouse or domestic partner of an honorably discharged veteran. Please submit ONE of the following documents as proof of your eligibility to apply for a General Vendor license:
- An original letter issued by DCA indicating that you are eligible to submit an application for a General Vendor license
- Proof of honorable discharge issued by 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
Contact information for the New York Regional Office is provided below.
245 West Houston Street
New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (800) 827-1000
Web site: http://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
License Applicants can be photographed in the DCA Licensing Center at no cost.
- 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 NYS License Center. 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 Residence Form (download)
- Proof of Home Address
Submit a copy of ONE of the following documents as proof of home address:
If you live at another person’s address, provide:
- 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
Note: If you are applying as a veteran, you must be a New York State resident.
- 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
- Proof of Tax Clearance
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 a New York State Certificate of Tax Clearance. You may obtain clearance applications at the DCA Licensing Center located 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 you are a veteran with a service-related disability and would like to vend on a restricted street as described in §2-314 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York, you can apply for the Citywide Specialized vending license (Yellow) and Midtown Core Zone vending license (Blue). You must:
- Submit an original letter with a signature from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) confirming your service-related disability
- Submit a completed Specialized Vending License/Midtown Core Waiting List Application (download)
- General Vendor Non-NYC Resident Form (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
For in-person application submissions, fees must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted at the Licensing Center include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Credit card payments are subject to a convenience fee. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
Please note that a convenience fee applies if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.
The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed.
- Honorably discharged veterans and the surviving spouses or domestic partners of honorably discharged veterans who reside in New York State do not need to pay a license fee.
- If you are a New York State resident and an honorably discharged 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.
|General Vendor License Fee
License Term: 1 year
License Expiration Date: September 30
|If You File Your Application Between These Dates:
||Your License Fee is:
|From October 1 to March 30
|From March 31 to September 30
Application Filing Process
File in person at the DCA Licensing Center, 42 Broadway, in Manhattan between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
If you do not speak or understand English well, please let us know when you arrive at the Licensing Center and we will provide translation services.
- Please review requirements for the license and gather all materials before clicking the button below.
- 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.
- After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the confirmation page. DCA cannot process incomplete applications.
- 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
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