How to Get a Cigarette License in Minnesota
All distributors and subjobbers, including those located outside Minnesota, must be licensed before they can sell or distribute cigarettes in Minnesota.
You’re a cigarette distributor if you:
- acquire untaxed cigarettes for sale to Minnesota subjobbers or retailers;
- ship or transport cigarettes to Minnesota retailers to be sold by those retailers; or
- purchase cigarettes directly from a manufacturer and apply cigarette stamps to at least 50 percent of the cigarettes you sell.
You’re a cigarette subjobber if you:
- acquire stamped cigarettes from a distributor to sell to retailers;
- are a licensed distributor who delivers, sells or distributes stamped cigarettes from a business not covered in your distributor’s license; or
- are a vending-machine operator; principal business is operating, or owning and leasing to operators, machines for the vending of merchandise or service.
To apply for or renew your license, fill out the attached license application, Form CT100. Use a separate application for each license. Licenses are valid for a two-year period beginning January 1 of each even-numbered year and ending December 31 of the following odd-numbered year.
If you’re applying for a license in the second year of the licensing period, pay only half the license fee. Fees are listed on the application.
If you’re a licensed cigarette distributor, you must apply for a separate distributor’s license for each location from which you plan to distribute cigarettes. You may apply for a separate subjobber’s license for each place of business, other than the licensed location for the distributor, from which you sell or distribute stamped cigarettes.
After you Get Your Minnesota Cigarette License
Display your license prominently at the location indicated. Your license allows you to conduct business as a distributor or subjobber at the place of business shown on the application. Licenses are not transferable to another person.
Your license may be revoked or suspended if you violate any act applicable to the sales of cigarettes.
Use of Information
All information on this form is required by M.S. 270C.306, including Social Security numbers of officers, partners or members. Social Security numbers are private information and cannot be disclosed to others without consent. All other information is public.
If all the information, other than your phone number, is not provided, your application may be delayed or denied. If you provide a phone number where you can be reached during the day, the department can save time if questions arise.
There are separate cigarette forms for Minnesota distributors, nonresident distributors and cigarette importers. Please use the appropriate forms listed below.
License Application and Order Form
CT100 License Application for Cigarette Distributors and Subjobbers
Forms for Minnesota Distributors
- CT201 Cigarette Tax Monthly Return
- CT201-A Unstamped/Other-State Stamped Cigarettes Received During the Month
- CT201-B Credit for Returned Cigarettes
- CT201-C Out-of-State Cigarette Sales
- CT201-F Monthly Cigarette Fee
- CT201-I Cigarette Inventory
- CT201-N Cigarette Sales on Native Reservations
- CT201-R Cigarette Reconciliation
- CT201-S Minnesota Stamped Cigarettes Received During the Month
Forms for Nonresident Distributors
- CT401 Cigarette Tax Monthly Return
- CT401-B Credit for Returned Cigarettes
- CT401-C Minnesota Cigarette Sales
- CT401-F Monthly Cigarette Fee
- CT401-I Cigarette Inventory
- CT401-N Cigarette Sales on Native Reservations
- CT401-R Cigarette Reconciliation
Forms for Importers
- CT501-A Cigarettes Imported During the Month
- CT501-C Unstamped Cigarette Sales to Minnesota Distributors
- CT501-D Out-of-State Cigarette Sales
- CT501-I Cigarette Inventory
- CT501-R Cigarette Reconciliation
Miscellaneous Cigarette Tax Forms
- CSB Cigarette Surety Bond
- CT109A Distributor Affidavit (Application for credit memo for damaged cigarette tax stamps)
- CT211 Cigarette Stamp Order Form
- CT601 Cigarette and Tobacco Audit (for Minnesota subjobbers)
- CT601-I Minnesota Cigarette Inventory (for Minnesota subjobbers)
Filing Your Monthly Return
Before You File
You Need a Minnesota ID Number
Your Minnesota tax ID number is the seven-digit number you’re assigned when you register with the Department of Revenue. Generally, this is the same as your sales and use tax or Minnesota employer’s withholding tax number.
You must include your Minnesota tax ID number on your return so that any payments you make are properly credited to your account.
If you don’t have a Minnesota tax ID number, you must apply for one. Apply online at www.revenue.state.mn.us, or call 651-282‑5225 or 1-800-657-3605.
All cigarette tax returns and payments are due on the 18th day of the month following the end of the reporting month. You must file a return even if there is no tax liability for that month.
The U.S. postmark date is considered the filing date (postage meter marks are not valid). When the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, returns and payments made electronically or postmarked on the next business day are considered timely.
Cigarette Brands Subject to Fee in Lieu of Settlement
There is a fee on cigarettes produced by manufacturers that:
- are not making annual payments to the state of Minnesota under the tobacco settlement agreement from State v. Philip Morris Inc., No. C1-94-8565 (Minnesota District Court, Second Judicial District); or
- have not voluntarily entered into an agreement with the state of Minnesota to make payments under terms similar to those in the above settlement agreement.
When Completing Your Return
- Enter your name, address, FEIN, Minnesota tax ID number and tax period on each form.
- Use the attachment sequence numbers when assembling. Numbers are in the top right corner of each form under the form number.
Keep Good Records
You must keep complete and accurate records at each licensed location, including:
- itemized invoices of cigarettes held, purchased, manufactured, brought in or caused to be brought in from outside Minnesota, or shipped or transported to retailers in Minnesota; and
- sales of cigarettes made, except sales to the ultimate consumer.
Your cigarette records must show names and addresses of purchasers, inventory of all stamps affixed and unaffixed, all cigarettes on hand at the close of each period, and any other documents related to the purchase, sale or disposition of cigarettes.
Save all books, records and other documents for at least 3½ years. We may ask to inspect your records or inventory at any time during normal business hours.
Amending Your Return
To file an amended return, check the appropriate box at the top of the form.
Electronic Payment Requirements
If you owe $10,000 or more in tax during the last 12-month period ending June 30, you’re required to make payments electronically the following calendar year.
You must also pay electronically if you’re required to pay any Minnesota business tax electronically, such as sales and withholding tax.
Failure to pay electronically when required will result in a penalty being assessed. The penalty is 5 percent of each payment that should have been remitted electronically, but was remitted by some other means.
Electronic Payment Options
- Go to www.revenue.state.mn.us and log in to e-Services.
- If you don’t have Internet access, call 1-800-570-3329 to pay by phone.
For both methods, you’ll need your user name, password and bank routing and account numbers. When paying electronically, you must use an account not associated with any foreign banks.
ACH credit method and Fed Wire. If you use other electronic payment methods, such as ACH credit method or Fed Wire, be sure to check with your bank or Fed Wire representative to find out when to initiate the payment in order for it to be received on time. Some banks require up to three business days to transfer funds. Additional instructions for making a payment by ACH credit are available on our website or by calling 651-556-3035.
Penalties and Interest
You’ll be billed penalty and interest charges if you don’t pay or file your taxes on time.
Late payment. The penalty for not paying on time is 5 percent of the unpaid tax for each 30 days the payment is late (or any part of 30 days) up to 15 percent.
Late filing. If you also do not file your return on time, a late-filing penalty is added to the late-payment penalty. The late-filing penalty is 5 percent of the unpaid tax.
The maximum penalty for paying and filing late is 20 percent.
Criminal penalties may also apply if you knowingly file a false or fraudulent return, or intentionally don’t file to avoid paying tax.
Interest. You’ll be charged interest on the unpaid tax plus penalty from the date the tax was due until it is paid in full.