Tobacco Retail Dealer

Tobacco Retail Dealer License Application Checklist

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DO NOT SUBMIT THIS APPLICATION IF YOUR BUSINESS IS OR CONTAINS A PHARMACY.
NYC law prohibits pharmacies and businesses that contain pharmacies from obtaining Tobacco Retail Dealer licenses.

***Important: Community District Caps***

Community district caps for Tobacco Retail Dealer licenses took effect February 24, 2018. There are currently no licenses available in any community district.

You can submit this application only if:
  • A business with a Tobacco Retail Dealer license is sold, someone acquires more than 10% of the shares of the corporation, or there is a change in partnership. You (the new business) may apply for a new license at the same location as long as there is a current, active license in good standing at the address AND you apply for a new license within 30 days of the sale or change.*
  • Your business is located in certain airports or parks that are not subject to the community district caps.*

*If you meet one of these exceptions to the cap, you must submit the Tobacco Retail Dealer Cap Exception Certification and supporting documentation. See the form for more information.

Monitor nyc.gov/dca for updates about community district caps.

Who Must Have a Tobacco Retail Dealer License?

You must have a Tobacco Retail Dealer license to sell cigarettes or tobacco products, such as cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, snus, bidi, snuff, shisha, or dissolvable tobacco products directly to consumers.

This description is only a general explanation of who must have a Tobacco Retail Dealer license. Refer to the Licensing Law/Rules Handout.

Quick List of Requirements to Apply for a Tobacco Retail Dealer 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
Sales Tax Identification Number OR Application Confirmation Number
New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Registration of Retail Dealers and Vending Machines for Sales of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products OR proof that you applied for Registration
Proof of Business Address
Proof of Home Address
Tobacco Retail Dealer Cap Exception Certification and Supporting Documentation (if applicable)
Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (if applicable)
License Fee

Submitting your application does not mean your license is automatically approved.

Additional City or State Permits/Licenses/Clearances You May Need

As of August 23, 2018, all stores that sell electronic cigarettes in NYC must have an Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer license. To obtain an Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer license, you must prove that you were selling electronic cigarettes on or before August 28, 2017. For more information, see the Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer License Application Checklist. You must apply for the license by April 25, 2018.

Important Message about Business Certificate

You must have the applicable Business Certificate based on your business’s legal structure. Although DCA does not require submission of your Business Certificate in order to process your application, DCA may request this document under section 20-104 of the New York City Administrative Code.

Sole proprietors operating under a name other than your own must have a Business/Assumed Name Certificate.

Partnerships must have a Partnership Certificate and, if applicable, an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.

Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Division of Corporations. DCA will verify active status prior to license issuance. You can check your status at www.dos.ny.gov/corps.

Requirements

DCA will not accept your application if you do not submit these required documents and information:

  • Sales Tax Identification Number OR Application Confirmation Number.
    To apply for a Certificate of Authority in order to collect sales tax, visit www.businessexpress.ny.gov.
  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Registration of Retail Dealers and Vending Machines for Sales of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products OR proof that you applied for Registration.
    To apply for Registration of Retail Dealers and Vending Machines for Sales of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products, visit www.licensecenter.ny.gov or call (518) 457-5735.

    DCA will accept proof that you applied for Registration in order to submit a complete application. Proof may include proof of filing from the State website or a copy of a cancelled check or other proof of payment such as a receipt.

    If you provide proof, you have 30 days to submit a copy of the Registration document. If you do not submit a copy of the Registration document within 30 days from the date you submit your license application, DCA will deny your application.
  • Proof of Business Address.
    Submit a copy of ONE of the following documents in the name of either the business or an individual listed on the license application:
    • 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
    • Current (active) license or permit issued by New York State or another New York City government agency that shows your business address
  • Proof of Home Address.
    Each individual listed on the license application must provide a copy of ONE of the following documents in the individual's name:
    • Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days (e.g., telephone, gas, electric, cable, or water) OR
    • Correspondence from any government agency OR
    • Current lease or deed OR
    • Current rent or mortgage bill OR
    • Driver's license
    • Municipal ID card

    For an individual who lives at another person’s address, provide:
    • ONE Proof of Home Address (see above) with the leaseholder’s or homeowner’s name AND
    • A letter signed by the homeowner or leaseholder stating that the individual lives at the address
  • Tobacco Retail Dealer Cap Exception Certification (download) and Supporting Documentation, if applicable.
    Note: If there is an open filing period for applications for your community district because the number of licenses is below the cap, you do not need to submit this requirement.
  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download), if applicable.
    Required if someone other than the license applicant will prepare and submit this application. 
    Note: The applicant must sign the license application and all related forms.
  • License Fee.
License Period: 2 years
Expiration Date: December 31
License Fee: $200 for full 2 years
If You File Your Application Between These Dates: You Will Pay: Your License Will Expire:
From January 1 to June 30 in an odd year $200 December 31 of Even Years
From July 1 to December 31 in an odd year $150 December 31 of Even Years
From January 1 to June 30 in an even year $200 December 31 of Odd Years
From July 1 to December 31 in an even year $150 December 31 of Odd Years

Pay by:
  • Check or money order payable to DCA.
  • Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card only). You will be charged a nonrefundable 2.49% Convenience Fee.

Application Filing Process

IN PERSON

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
Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
NYC SMALL BUSINESS
SUPPORT CENTER

90-27 Sutphin Blvd, 4th Floor
Jamaica, NY 11435
Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Free Interpretation Services are available on-site. To request a disability-related accommodation, please call DCA’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator at (212) 436-0155 or visit our Accommodations page.

Please note:
Due to the strict timeline for submitting an application for an exception to the cap, DCA will accept only complete applications submitted in person. This in-person application policy allows DCA staff to provide timely assistance to eligible applicants.

Reminder: If you are applying for a license due to a sale or change in ownership, DCA must receive your complete application within 30 days of the sale or change.

Additional Resources for Tobacco Retail Dealers


Get Voter Information
Note: Whether you apply to register to vote or not, it will not affect the assistance DCA will provide to you.

Page updated 4/2018.