We are an e-commerce (only) broker. Do we need to collect sales tax?
Full Question: We are an e-commerce-only company, that acts like a broker for our vendors. We transact the sales and pay the vendors once the products have shipped. We have vendors in several states (PA, WV,FL, OR, NC, MD). Do we need to pay sales tax for sales made to customers in those states where the vendors are located? For example the a MD customer orders product A, that ships from a MD vendor. Do we need to collect sales tax? We, ourselves never touch the product.
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The ORIGINAL/COMPLETE question was as follows:
Generally, e-commerce companies are only required to collect sales tax for sales into the states where they have substantial physical presence. However, if you are considered a florist and your "vendors" are local florists that deliver the plants for you, then they might be considered to be your agent and would establish a presence on your behalf. In addition, a number of states including NC have adopted nexus provisions which would require an out of state seller who has an affiliate relationship with an in-state business to register and collect sales tax if the out of state seller pays a commission to the in state company for their assistance in generating sales. We would be happy to help you evaluate your activities to see if they meet the definitions of doing business in the states where you ship the plants.