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State specific licensing and tax info


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I am going to start this thread off with Colorado and add my home state of Massachusetts later. If anyone has accurate state information regarding vending machine operators please post it up here.

Make sure you use accurate information by quoting your states website or any other legitimate information source.

This thread should grow quite large so if you are looking for a specific state, use the boards search feature by typing your states name into the search box above. If there is info here for your state it will pop up!




 Colorado Vending Licensing Information from Co state website

Vending machine operators must have a state retail sales tax license. See FYI Sales 59, Vending Machines.

Link: http://www.revenue.state.co.us/fyi/html/sales59.html

A vending machine operator with multiple locations is required to have only one state sales tax license, but must collect tax where each machine is located. Local sales tax licenses may be required from each city where machines are placed. If you place machines in other local jurisdictions, you must submit a list of the cities/counties in which your machines are located and the list must include the tax rates for those local jurisdictions. This list must be attached to your DR 0100 return.

Vending machines are exempt from adding sales tax to the price of the sale. Instead, the appropriate sales tax is included in the price. Items that sell for less than $0.15 are exempt from sales tax.

Each machine must bear an identification decal with operator's name, address and sales tax number. Fee is $0.10 per machine/decal.

Vending machines for entertainment only are exempt from sales tax. This includes such things as video games, pinball machines, pool tables or other money-operated machines which do not dispense tangible personal property. Machines with claws that players use to pick up toys/prizes require tax to be paid at the time merchandise is purchased for use in the machine, rather than collecting the tax on machine's gross receipts.

To protect the owner of a machine from a tax lien if the machine is located on other than the owner's premises, the owner must file a Memorandum of Lease with the Department of Revenue for each location. The fee is $2.50. See FY Sales 59 for more information.

A food service license is required if preparing food for sale from vending machines e.g. sandwiches. Apply through local county health department.

A license is not required if operators purchases pre-packaged food prepared by the supplier.

Federal and state laws give priority to blind individuals to operate and manage food and vending services in federal and state government office buildings and facilities. The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) is the designated state licensing agency responsible for the administration of the program. The program licenses qualified operators and collects commission income from vending machines on state property. (26-8.5-100.1 thru 107, C.R.S.; federal "Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act")

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Massachusetts Vending Licensing Info from http://www.mass.gov.






Chapter 94: Section 309. License; necessity; application; issuance; display; fees

Section 309. No person shall engage in the operation of a vending machine without a license issued by the commissioner.

Any person desiring to operate a vending machine shall make application for a license to the commissioner on a form to be provided by him. The application shall state whether the applicant is an individual, firm, partnership or corporation; the name and address of the applicant, and if the applicant is a partnership, the name and address of each partner; the address of the applicant’s principal place of business, and of each commissary servicing his vending machines; and it shall be signed by the applicant or applicants.

The commissioner after compliance by the operator with the applicable provisions of this chapter and upon receipt of the appropriate fee shall issue a license to operate a vending machine. Such license shall not be transferable. A label, of a size and style approved by the commissioner, bearing the operator’s license number, shall be conspicuously displayed at each machine location.

The annual fees for licenses to operate vending machines shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven.

You may download a PDF version of the Massachusetts Vending License application HERE.

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Vending Machine - Licensing Information

Required State License(s):  

A Sales tax license is required with the Michigan Department of Treasury at (517) 636-4660.  

According to Public Acts 275 of 1978 candy, chewing gum, chips, cookies crackers, fresh fruit, juices, milk, nuts and stamps are exempt from sales tax. Soft drinks/pop are required to be taxed.

Here's Michigan's Regs. No sales tax, no license, no fees. The sales tax license is free, but only po is taxed, not bulk items.



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Sales and Use Tax on Vending Machines

What owners and operators of coin-operated vending machines need to know.

What is Taxable?


Sales of food, beverages, and other tangible items are taxable when made through vending machines or devices dispensing taxable merchandise having a sales price of 10 cents or more. The rate is 6 percent plus any locally imposed taxes (discretionary sales surtaxes).

"Food and beverages" include milk, natural juice, food, gum, candy, hot chocolate, coffee, soft drinks, and tea. "Other tangible items" include, but are not limited to, tobacco, toys, baseball cards, prepaid telephone calling cards, laundry supplies, and sundries.

Machine Rental

The lease or license to use a vending machine is taxable. The tax is collected by the machine owner (lessor) from the operator (lessee) and is based on the lease amount.

Real Property Rental

If the machine owner is also the operator and places the machine at another person’s location, the arrangement between the operator and the location owner is a taxable lease or license to use real property. The tax is collected by the location owner (lessor) from the machine operator (lessee) and is based on the commission payment to the location owner (lessor).

What is Exempt?


Receipts from vending machines operated by churches are not taxable.


Food and beverages sold or dispensed through vending machines located in a student lunchroom, student dining room, or other area designated for student dining in schools offering grades K through 12 are exempt. Food and beverages sold through vending machines in a gymnasium, shop, teacher’s lounge, corridor, or other area accessible to the general public and not specifically designated for student dining are subject to tax. PTAs and PTOs (in schools offering grades K through 12 only) that sell food or beverages through vending machines must choose to pay tax to their suppliers or remit tax on the sales.

Charitable Organizations

Food and drinks sold for 25 cents or less through a coin-operated vending machine sponsored by a charitable organization qualified under sections 501©(3) or 501©(4), Internal Revenue Code, are exempt.

Who Must Register to Collect Tax?

The machine operator is responsible for remitting tax on the gross receipts from the machine. Owners leasing a machine to an operator are required to register and collect sales tax from the operator on the lease payments they receive. A location owner who is not already registered for some other purpose is required to register and collect sales tax on the commission or fee received from the operator.

However, a machine operator who has a direct pay permit from the Department of Revenue can self-accrue and remit the tax due on the commission, license fee, or rent paid to the location owner for the lease or license to use real property. This relieves the location owner of the obligation to collect tax. To apply for a permit, submit Form DR-16A, Application for Self-Accrual Authority/Direct Pay Permit - Sales and Use Tax. See "For Information and Forms" on the back panel to obtain this form.

How Do I Register?

You can register to collect and/or report tax via the Department’s Internet site. Go to http://www.myflorida.com/dor and click on e-Services. If you do not have Internet access, you can complete a paper Application to Collect and/or Report Tax in Florida (Form DR-1). To obtain this form, see "For Information and Forms" on the back panel.

Owners or operators with machines in several counties need a separate registration for each county in which their machines are located. If all the machines are located in one county, one registration is sufficient.

When is Tax Due?

Returns and payments are due on the 1st and late after the 20th day of the month following the month the receipts are removed from the machine. For example, if the receipts are removed on the 1st of one month, then tax is not due until the 1st of the next month.

Returns and payments postmarked after the 20th are late. However, if the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday, returns will not be considered late if they are postmarked on the first business day following the 20th.

Notice Requirements

A notice must be displayed on the upper front, or where it is easily readable by the public, of food or beverage vending machine.

A penalty of $250 per machine, plus interest, will be charged for failure to display the required notice.

The notice must state the operator’s name, address, and federal employer identification (FEI) number. If the federal government does not require the operator to have an FEI number, the sales tax registration number is required.

Tax Laws

Call Taxpayer Services to request a copy of Rule 12A-1.044, Florida Administrative Code, Vending Machines. Tax laws are also available on the Department's Internet site. Look for the Florida Tax Law Library.


The following brochures are available from your local DOR service center, the DOR Distribution Center, or Taxpayer Services:

  • Tangible Personal Property Rentals
  • Commercial Real Property Rentals
  • Amusement Machines
  • Concession Stands
  • Discretionary Sales Surtax
For Information and Forms

Information and forms are available on our Internet site at http://www.myflorida.com/dor.

To speak with a Department of Revenue representative, call Taxpayer Services, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., ET, at 800-352-3671.

Persons with hearing or speech impairments may call the TDD line at 800-367-8331 or 850-922-1115.

For a written reply to tax questions, write:

Taxpayer Services

Florida Department of Revenue

1379 Blountstown Hwy

Tallahassee FL 32304-2716

To receive forms by mail:

  • Order multiple copies of forms from our Internet site at http://www.myflorida.com/dor/forms or
  • Fax form requests to the DOR Distribution Center at 850-922-2208 or
  • Mail form requests to:

    Distribution Center

    Florida Department of Revenue

    168A Blountstown Hwy

    Tallahassee FL 32304-2702

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Many states have recognized the special needs and problems of our industry and have enacted exemptions or reduced charges for sales through bulk vending machines. Since bulk vending represents less than 1% of the entire vending industry, most legislators have been sympathetic and helpful. For example, New York, Texas and Kentucky exempt all sales at 50¢ or less. California has a 25¢ exemption.

Attached is a list of states that have enacted exemptions or reduced charges...

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HOLY COW GUYS!!!I read all the PDF files for California and my head hurts. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do about my town wanting to charge $10.00 per machine every year to get a stupid tag that says I have a permit. This doesn't include the $187.00 fee to start your business license. Does anyone else have to pay a fee per machine?

And I still don't know about the tax law. 25 cent machines don't pay sales tax. it would only be earned income tax correct?:shock:

Yes, I know "what the hell is this guy thinking going into business for himself."

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$10.00 per machine every year to get a stupid tag that says I have a permit. This doesn't include the $187.00 fee to start your business license. Does anyone else have to pay a fee per machine?

Mass charges only $3 per/per.

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Iowa application for vending machine operators license.


Illinois application for vending business license.


Maryland bulk vending sales and use tax information.


New York State tax law regarding sales from bulk vending machines.


Oklahoma bulk vending license and  tax information.


Link to download a license decal application.


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For the life of me, I can't find a thing for Louisiana. The gaming industry is huge in this state and there's tons of info on that but nothing on vending machines. Found hot dog vender and video poker machine but that's all.


I'll keep searching....maybe it's a free for all in vending down here. :?

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[] Vending machine owners must pay tax on all taxable vending machine items sold. Taxable items include gum, soda, cigarettes and other non-food items (excluding newspapers, which are not taxable).


You must have a VENDOR’S LICENSE for every county in which you have a vending machine that sells taxable goods. Contact YOUR COUNTY AUDITOR or the OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION.


There are many restrictions on cigarette vending machines. If you will be selling any tobacco products, contact YOUR COUNTY AUDITOR and the OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION for information.


The OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION can be reached at (888) 405-4039 for Business Tax Assistance; 888-405-4089 for Tax Registration; or (800) 282-1782 for the Forms Request Line. Information is also on-line at http://tax.ohio.gov.


More information about cigarette vending machine restrictions can be found in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2927.02. The ORC can be found in your local library or on-line at onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode.


If you will sell stuffed items, you must contact the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Industrial Compliance, Bedding and Upholstered Furniture Section for licensing information. They can be reached at (614) 644-2223 and found on-line at




If you will sell food, contact your local health department for licensing requirements.

For more help, contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC)



Remember to check local and federal laws.


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I see why everyone's head hurts after reading these, and I haven't even found KANSAS information yet.  All I've found so far is tobacco & food.  The definition I read for food doesn't include candy.

I'm starting to think a phone call would be easier.

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  Can anyone advice me on getting a licence for only one machine ?  The only reason I want a licence on only one is because one of my good locations is asking about it and I do not have the money to get licence on all .  Is this possible ?  I lied to this guy and said I had one , but I do not so what should I do so I do not lose the stop .  He is a really nice owner of a bar/ grill I have and he only is asking because some inspector says he could be fined for all his amusement games and vending machines in he's bar .

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