To prepare to apply for a vendor license, you need to think about the types of goods or services you will be offering and where you will operate. These licenses are typically issued by municipalities, so it can be a good idea to check with the local government to determine if there are any special requirements. If you grow produce yourself and want to sell it at a farmer's market, you may be exempt from needing a vendor license. Most other activities that involve selling out of a fixed location or in a transient manner require a license. After you have planned out all of the specifics, you can contact the local tax authority and begin the application process.
The first step in preparing to apply for a vendor license is to determine what you are going to sell. Some areas have special restrictions, requirements, or exemptions depending on the good or service you are offering. If you are a farmer or large scale gardener, you may be exempt from licensing rules if you sell your produce directly to the public at a farmer's market or roadside stand on your property. Food sellers that offer products grown or created by other people typically need a vendor license and may also require food service certification.
If you will have a single place of business for a lengthy amount of time, you can plan to apply for a fixed location vendor license. Otherwise, you will need to plan for a transient license. The definitions of these licenses can vary between jurisdictions, but if you plan on transporting goods to be sold at a flea market or fair stall you will usually need a transient license.
Your next planning stage may be to determine which jurisdictions you want to sell in. If you plan on taking your goods to a number of different towns or counties over the course of several months, you may want to plan this out in advance. Local municipalities often limit the number of vendor licenses they issue in a given time period, so it can be a good idea to apply in advance for each permit you will need. This can help you avoid the experience of being unable to sell at a particular flea market or fair.
After you can completed all of your planning and preparation, you can contact the local taxation authority in each municipality you need a license from. The exact government body responsible for issuing these licenses can vary from one area to another, though the forms are often available online. In many cases, you will need to submit a fee along with your form, so you may also want to investigate how much this will cost in each area.