Licensing & Permitting

Tobacco Licensing and Permitting

Utah law requires tobacco retailers to go through the following steps before the retailer can advertise, display or sell tobacco products, electronic cigarette products, and nicotine products. (Utah Code § 59-14-201§ 59-14-301§ 59-14-803, § 26-62-201).

Step 1. Go to the Utah Department of Commerce to register the business.

Step 2. Obtain a tobacco license from the Utah State Tax Commission. Obtaining a bond may also be required.

Step 3. Obtain a tobacco permit from the local health department where the business is located.

Step 4. Obtain a business license from the city and/or county licensing office where the business is located.

FAQs:

There is a one-time permit fee of $30 and a renewal fee of $20 every two years. There is a $30 fee for a reinstated permit that has been revoked, suspended, or allowed to expire (Utah Code § 26-62-203).

A license and permit are required for each separate place of business (Utah Code § 59-14-201§ 59-14-301§ 59-14-803, § 26-62-201).

Retailers are required to notify the Utah State Tax Commission within 30 days in the event that the business location changes (Utah Code § 59-14-202).

Permits are nontransferable. Retailers are required to notify their local health department within 15 days if information on their permit application changes (Utah Code § 26-62-204).

Tobacco product, electronic cigarette product, or nicotine product sales to individuals younger than 21 may result in the suspension or revocation of the tobacco permit (Utah Code § 26-62-305).

Please contact the Utah State Tax Commission for taxation and bonding questions: http://tax.utah.gov/tobacco or tax.utah.gov, or call their General Questions and Taxpayer Services at (801) 297-2200 or their Technical Research Unit at (801) 297-7705.

Visit the Business Licensing & Registration Guide by State of Utah Department of Commerce Division of Corporations & Commercial Code.

To read the law regarding tobacco licensing, go to Utah Code § 59-14.

To read the law regarding tobacco retail permitting, go to Utah Code § 26-62 and Utah Administrative Rule R384-324.

For the definitions of tobacco products, electronic cigarette products, and nicotine products, please go to Utah Code § 76-10-101.

 

Retail Tobacco Specialty Business Permit

A retailer will be required to get a retail tobacco specialty business permit if at least one of these factors is true:

  • The sales of tobacco products, electronic cigarette products and nicotine products account for more than 35% of the total quarterly gross receipts for the establishment;
  • 20% or more of the public retail floor space is allocated to the offer, display, or storage of tobacco products;
  • 20% or more of the total shelf space is allocated to the offer, display, or storage of tobacco products;
  • the commercial establishment:
    • holds itself out as a retail tobacco specialty business; and
    • causes a reasonable person to believe the commercial establishment is a retail tobacco specialty business;
  • any flavored electronic cigarette product is sold; or
  • the retail space features a self-service display for tobacco products, electronic cigarette products, or nicotine products (Utah Code § 10-8.41.6§ 17-50-333).

There is a one-time permit fee of $30 and a yearly renewal fee of $20. There is a $30 fee for a reinstated permit that has been revoked, suspended, or allowed to expire (Utah Code § 26-62-203).

In addition, per Utah Administrative Rule R384-324-3, all retail tobacco specialty businesses must pay a one-time $250 plan review fee. The $250 plan review fee can be charged by the local health departments every time there is a change in ownership of a retail tobacco specialty business, therefore requiring a new permit application. For more details contact the local health department.

Retail tobacco specialty businesses are subject to the following additional requirements:

1. Proximity – To be permitted as a retail tobacco specialty business, the business may not be located within:

  • 1,000 feet of a community location*; or 1,000 feet of a school; or
  • 600 feet of another retail tobacco specialty business; or
  • 600 feet of property used or zoned for agricultural or residential use.

*Community location includes any: public or private K-12 school, licensed child-care or preschool, trade or technical school, church, public library, public playground, public park, youth center or other place used primarily for youth-oriented activities, public recreational facility, public arcade, or homeless shelter (Utah Code § 10-8.41.6(1)(a)§ 17-50-333(1)(a)).

*Beginning August 15, 2020, a retail tobacco specialty business that has a business license and is operating in a city or county may not be located within 1,000 feet of a school, even if the business had “grandfather status” prior (Utah Code § 10-8.41.6(8)§ 17-50-333(8)). Contact the local health department for questions.

2. Prominently display a sign on the public entrance of the retail tobacco specialty business that communicates individuals younger than 21 may not enter or be present at the tobacco specialty businesses (e.g., must be 21 or older to enter) (Utah Code § 26-62-205, § 76-10-105.1(4)).

3. Verification of Proof of Age. As of July 1, 2020 all retail tobacco specialty businesses are required to electronically verify the I.D. of all individuals that enter the premises and purchases tobacco products, electronic cigarette products, and nicotine products (Utah Code § 26-62-205(1), § 26-62-401).

The following include more information about what is required for retail tobacco specialty businesses:

Utah Code § 10-8-41.6 Regulation of retail tobacco specialty business.

Utah Code § 17-50-333 Regulation of retail tobacco specialty business.

Utah Code § 26-62 Tobacco, Electronic Cigarette, and Nicotine Product Retail Permit. 

Utah Administrative Rule R384-324 – Tobacco Retailer Permit.

 

Taxation

Effective July 1, 2020, a new excise tax will be enacted on electronic cigarette substances and prefilled electronic cigarettes. If a tobacco retailer sells these products, the business may also need to comply with new bonding requirements (Utah Code § 59-14-803, § 59-14-804).

Please contact the Utah State Tax Commission for taxation and bonding questions: http://tax.utah.gov/tobacco or tax.utah.gov, or call their General Questions and Taxpayer Services at (801) 297-2200 or their Technical Research Unit at (801) 297-7705.

To read the law regarding tobacco licensing and taxation, go to Utah Code § 59-14.

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