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Nebraska State Fire Marshal

Christopher Cantrell, State Fire Marshal

Licenses/Retail Stands

What are the requirements to have a stand?

Stands must be located within the city limits of an incorporated city or village in the state. Refer to Rules For Retail Sales Of Consumer Fireworks for building code requirements. Fireworks must be purchased from a distributor or jobber who hold a current license with the State of Nebraska. Someone age 16 or older must be present at all times while a stand is open. You should also check with your local jurisdiction to find out if they have any requirements. Some cities require anyone wanting to sell fireworks to obtain a local license in addition to the state license.

What is the difference between a distributor and a jobber?

A distributor is anyone engaged in the business of making sales of fireworks at wholesale to anyone engaged in the business of making sales of fireworks either as a jobber or as a retailer or both. A jobber is someone who is engaged in the business of making sales of fireworks at wholesale to anyone engaged in the business of making sales at retail.


What kind of fireworks can I sell at a retail stand?

Fireworks that are classified as Consumer Fireworks or novelties may be sold at retail stands. In Nebraska the following items are not classified as consumer fireworks:

  • Rockets that are mounted on a stick or wire and project in the air when ignited, with or without report
  • Wire sparklers, except that silver and gold sparklers are deemed to be consumer fireworks until January 1, 2014
  • Nighttime parachutes
  • Fireworks that are shot into the air and after coming to the ground cause automatic ignition due to sufficient temperature
  • Firecrackers that contain more than fifty milligrams of explosive composition
  • Fireworks that have been tested by the State Fire Marshal as a response to complaints and have been deemed to be unsafe

Local jurisdictions may be more restrictive on the types of fireworks that may be sold. Always check with your local government to find out what fireworks are allowed. For more information on consumer fireworks please see the statue listed at this website.


May I sell fireworks anytime during the year?

No. State law only allows for fireworks to be sold between June 24 and July 5 on a JULY License or between December 28 and January 1 on a DECEMBER License. Local jurisdictions have the authority to be more restrictive. Always check with your local jurisdiction to find out what restrictions, if any, they may have on the dates fireworks may be sold.


How much does it cost to obtain a license?

A retail stand license is $25 per stand. A Distributor license costs $500 and is good for the calendar year. A Jobber license costs $200 and is good for a calendar year. The fee may be paid with a credit card (Master Card, Visa, or American Express) or electronic check.


Do I have to have a sales tax number to obtain a license?

No. You do not have to have a sales tax number to obtain your retail license from the State Fire Marshal’s Office. We ask for the number as a courtesy to the Nebraska Department of Revenue. However, you must obtain a sales tax number and pay sales tax on the items you sell. If you will have multiple stands, you only need one sales tax number for all the stands; not one per stand. To obtain a sales tax number or for answers to your questions regarding sales tax collection/payment, contact Taxpayer Assistance at 800‑742‑7474 (NE and IA), or 402‑471‑5729. You may also download the form, Form 20 Application, from Revenue's website.


May I go to Missouri or another state and buy fireworks and bring them back to sell at my stand?

No. It is illegal to transport fireworks across the state line as stated in Nebraska State Statute 28-1248. Only a licensed distributor or jobber may bring fireworks into the state. You may also want to check with the US Department of Transportation regarding any restrictions or requirements they place on transportation of fireworks.


May I get a retail license anytime up to July 4th?

Applications for the July selling season are due 10 business days prior to June 25th and applications for the December selling season are due 10 business days prior to December 29th. It is highly recommended that you submit your applications early; you may start applying January 1st of the year in which the license will be issued. Licenses will not be issued the same day the application is received and may take up to 10-14 business days to process depending on the volume of applications. Please do not call to check on the status of an application for at least 2 weeks after submitting an application as this takes time away from processing.


Do I need to keep the license number that shows up when I finish completing an application online?

It is recommended you print this page for your records as it has your license number on it and also serves as part of your confirmation.


Only a few distributors are listed in the online application. My distributor isn’t listed or I want to obtain fireworks from more than one distributor. How do I handle this?

The box that the distributor names appear in has a scroll bar on the right side. Scroll down to see more distributors. If you need to select multiple distributors, Windows and Linux users should hold down the Control (Ctrl) Key as they click on the distributor names. Macintosh users should hold down the Command Key as they make their selections.


I used my debit card to pay for the license(s) and was double-charged on my statement.

You were not double-charged, it only appears that way. This is because of the authorization process that occurs to insure the card is valid and there is money available to cover the pending charge. Contact your bank to clarify your statement.


The online application won’t accept my credit card.

Only Visa, Master Card, and American Express may be used. Some credit card vendors set up cards so they cannot be used with online applications. If you are unable to get your application through with one credit card, please try a different credit card and see if that will go through. If you are still having difficulties, please write down any errors you are receiving or make a screen shot of the error and email this office.