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License Application Checklist


CIGARETTE RETAIL DEALER (PREMISES) (127)

DCA Licensing Center
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
For more information, call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside of New York City).
  


WHO MUST HAVE A CIGARETTE RETAIL DEALER LICENSE?

You must have a Cigarette Retail Dealer license to sell cigarettes directly to consumers. You must get a separate license for each place of business in New York City where you sell cigarettes.

You do NOT need a Cigarette Retail Dealer license if you are a wholesale dealer.

The possession or transportation at any one time of 5,000 or more cigarettes by any person other than a manufacturer, an agent, a licensed wholesale dealer, or a person delivering cigarettes in the regular course of business for a manufacturer, an agent, or a licensed wholesale or retail dealer shall be presumptive evidence that the person is a retail dealer.

This description is only a general explanation of which businesses need to have a Cigarette Retail Dealer license.

Note: New York City businesses must comply with all relevant federal, state, and City laws and rules. All laws and rules of the City of New York, including the Consumer Protection Law and Rules, are accessible using the Public Access Portal. For convenience, sections of the New York City Licensing Law (and Rules, if enacted) are available as a downloadable handout.

New State Law and Required Sign
As of January 1, 2013, it is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18. Licensed Cigarette Retail Dealers must post a sign created by the state. See “After You File Your DCA License Application” section for Signage Posting requirements.

Flavored Tobacco
It is illegal for businesses (excluding tobacco bars) to sell “flavored” tobacco products, including, but not limited to, tastes or aromas relating to any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb, or spice. This law does not apply to cigarettes. The sale of flavored cigarettes is prohibited under federal law. Sale of tobacco products containing only the taste or aroma of tobacco, menthol, mint, or wintergreen is permissible. For more information, refer to Local Law 69 of 2009 (Int. No. 433-A) and the Final Rule included in the downloadable handout. (Local Law 69 of 2009 also renumbers the sections of the Tobacco Product Regulation Act.)

Please note that businesses are responsible for knowing and complying with the most current laws, including any City Council amendments. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is not responsible for errors or omissions in the handout. The information is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

Before You File Your DCA License Application:
You must obtain the following required documents before filing your application. Although DCA does not require submission of these documents in order to process your application in person or online, DCA reserves the right to request and examine the documents under section 20.104 of the New York City Administrative Code.

  • Applicable Business Certificates Based on Your Business’s Legal Structure.

    • Sole Proprietorships operating under a name other than your own must file a Business/Assumed Name Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted. 
    • Sole Proprietorships doing business under your own name—and not under a trade or Doing-Business-As (DBA) name—do not need a Business Certificate. 
    • General/Business Partnerships must file your Partnership Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
    • Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Department of State. Active status will be verified by DCA prior to license issuance. You can confirm the status of your business entity at http://www.dos.ny.gov/corps/bus_entity_search.html. If applicable, you must also file an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.
    • Businesses incorporated out of state must obtain a Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing from your home state’s Secretary of State and file this with an application for Authority to Conduct Business in New York with the New York State Secretary of State.

When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application. If you fail to submit all documents, your application will be denied.  

  • Basic License Application (download).
    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 License Application Form (in PDF)
       
  • Sales TaxSales Tax Identification Number OR Certificate of Authority Application Confirmation Number.
    The Sales Tax Identification Number is the 9, 10, or 11-digit number on your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority. You must enter this number on the Basic License Application form. If you have not received your Certificate of Authority, please enter the 6-digit confirmation number you received when you successfully submitted the application for a Certificate of Authority.

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.

  • New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Retail Dealer Certificate of Registration for Cigarettes.
    You must submit a current copy of your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Retail Dealer Certificate of Registration for Cigarettes. To obtain an application for a Certificate of Registration for Cigarettes, visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance online at www.nystax.gov or call toll-free (800) 462-8100. Note: A retail dealer must be registered at each location where cigarettes are sold. (For example, a dealer selling cigarettes at four counters or booths at a civic center or a fair would need four New York State Certificates of Registration). Certificates of Registration must be renewed every year.

  • Proof of Business Address.
    Submit a copy of ONE of the following documents as proof of business address:
    • Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days (telephone, gas, electric, cable, or water) OR
    • Current lease or deed in the name of either the business or individual listed on the license application OR
    • Current rent or mortgage bill OR
    • Current 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 as proof of home address:
    • Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days (telephone, gas, electric, cable, or water) OR 
    • Current lease or deed OR
    • Current rent or mortgage bill OR
    • Driver's license

If an individual lives at another person’s address, provide:

  • Letter signed by the leaseholder indicating that the individual lives at the address AND
  • ONE proof of home address (per above) with the leaseholder’s name

  • Acknowledgment and Understanding of the Law and Rules Affirmation (download)   

  • Child Support Certification Form (download)
    If your business is a SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP or GENERAL or LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the proprietor or each individual general partner must submit a Child Support Certification Form.  
     

  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download) 
    If this application will be filed by someone other than the license applicant, the license applicant must submit a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation.   

  • License Fee
    Must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted at the DCA Licensing Center include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Credit card payments are subject to a 2.49% convenience fee. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed. Note: An odd year is any year ending in an odd digit; for example, 2013, 2015, etc. An even year is any year ending in an even digit; for example, 2014, 2016, etc. 

Please note that a 2.49% convenience fee applies if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online. 

CIGARETTE RETAIL DEALER LICENSE   
License Term License Expiration Date If You File Your Application
Between These Dates:
Your License Fee is:
 2 years December 31
Even years
From January 1 in an odd year to June 30 in an odd year  $110
  December 31
Even years
From July 1 in an odd year to December 31 in an odd year  $85
 2 years December 31 
Odd years
From January 1 in an even year to June 30 in an even year  $110
  December 31
Odd years
From July 1 in an even year to December 31 in an even year  $85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPLICATION FILING PROCESS: 

ONLINE SUBMISSION:

  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. Important: If you need to file another license application, return to the DCA Business Toolbox to read requirements and proceed to the online application.

IN-PERSON SUBMISSION:
You can file applications in person at the DCA Licensing Center, 42 Broadway, 5th floor, 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.

After You File Your DCA License Application:
Below is information you need to know after submitting your license application:

  • Signage Posting
    DCA will provide you with the required state sign, which you must post where you sell cigarettes so all customers can see it. This sign must be printed on white paper with red letters. Download a copy of the state sign. 

  • Inspection Checklist: Flavored Tobacco
    To learn what DCA inspectors look for and help avoid violations, read Inspection Checklist: Flavored Tobacco 
      

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TOBACCO RETAILERS:
 
You CANNOT:

  • Sell to minors. It is illegal to sell tobacco products (including bidis and gutka), herbal cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, rolling papers, and smoking paraphernalia to individuals under the age of 18 years.

  • Sell loose cigarettes.

  • Sell “flavored” tobacco products unless your business is a tobacco bar. Illegal tastes or aromas include, but are not limited to, any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb, or spice. This law does not apply to cigarettes. The sale of flavored cigarettes is prohibited under federal law. Sale of tobacco products containing only the taste or aroma of tobacco, menthol, mint, or wintergreen is permissible.

  • Sell to customers lacking required ID. Customers must have a valid photo ID. Valid photo IDs include:
    • Driver’s license or nondriver’s ID card issued by any U.S. state or possession
    • ID issued by the federal government or the U.S. armed forces
    • Valid passport from any country 

A salesperson is not required to check the ID of a customer who appears to be at least 25 years old. However, the appearance of a customer cannot be used as a defense if the customer was, in fact, a minor.

  • Allow employees younger than 18 to sell or handle tobacco products, unless the employee is under the supervision of someone who is 18 or older.

  • Store products improperly. Tobacco products and herbal cigarettes offered for sale or on display must be stored behind a counter, inaccessible to the public, or in a locked container.

  • Operate vending machines in locations where minors have easy access.

Violations

  • Violations of City tobacco law may result in fines of up to $2,000, in addition to fines assessed under the state law, and the loss of the business’s DCA license.

  • Violations of state tobacco law may result in fines of up to $4,000, plus a $50 surcharge for each violation. Violations can lead to the loss of the business’s state retail sales registration and Lottery license.

  • Violators guilty of illegally selling cigarettes to a minor can only avail themselves of limited penalty waiver options if they show the seller held a valid certificate of completion from a State Certified Tobacco Sales Training Program.

New York State Department of Health
For more information about the state’s Tobacco Sales Training Program, tobacco vending machines, and sales to minors, call (800) 458-1158 or visit
 www.health.state.ny.us 


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