If you buy something that you're going to sell to someone else, you shouldn't pay sales or use tax on it. You should provide your vendor with a resale certificate (that's what it's typically called). This gives your vendor reliable assurance that you're not to be taxed and why.
Then, when you sell your product, you must charge your customers tax and remit it to the appropriate state. Unless, of course, your customer is also buying for resale, in which case he/she needs to provide you with a resale certificate.
This is called the resale exemption. This is not absolutely universal, but it's pretty dang close. And it's really not an exemption like food, non-profit organizations, etc. It's fundamental to the entire concept of sales and use taxes.
There are variations on this rule. For example, in most states, real property construction contractors who buy building materials for their projects are considered the end users and are not buying for resale. Lessors, in most states, buy their property for resale because they will be charging the lessee tax on the rental or lease charges. And there are a few states where people, who provide taxable services, can buy some of their materials tax free using this exemption. Finally, the ingredients exemption for manufacturers, as well as the container exemption, are natural extensions of this exemption.
Sales Tax Guy
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