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Party Supply Rental

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Party Supply Rental

March 22, 2017

While many employers in California engage in the rental or sale of party supplies, these employers do not all handle the same types of merchandise or provide the same services to their customers. This e-newsletter addresses how some of the most common party supply store operations are classified. 

Party supply rental store operations are classified based on Part 3, Standard Classification System, Section IV, Special Industry Classification Procedures, Rule 6, Stores, of the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan–1995 (USRP). Rule 6b states, in pertinent part:

The applicable store classification is determined based upon the type of merchandise sold, leased, consigned or auctioned and whether the operations are wholesale or retail. In the absence of specific instructions found in the classification phraseology or footnote, the following definitions apply when determining the applicable store classification.

 (1) Type of Merchandise Sold

 If a store sells more than one type of merchandise, each of which may be subject to a different classification, the store classification shall be determined based on the highest rated category of merchandise sold, provided that category exceeds twenty-five percent (25%) of gross receipts....

Party supply rental stores typically rent or sell a variety of merchandise such as decorations and theme props; dishes, stemware and flatware; linens; disposable paper goods; tables and chairs; tents and canopies; dance floors; and decorative floor coverings. Since most employers sell or rent only some of these items, it is necessary to review sales or rental revenue percentages (gross receipts) to determine which store classification applies. Many retail party supply rental stores are classified as 8017(1), Stores – retail – N.O.C.; however, retail party supply rental stores that generate more than 25% of gross receipts in furniture rental or sales are classified as 8015, Stores – furniture, based on Rule 6.  
Party supply rental stores can be retail or wholesale depending on the customer. Stores that sell or rent primarily to the general public for personal use are retail, and stores that sell or rent primarily to professional users, such as professional event planners or party venue operators, are wholesale. Rule 6(b)(2) states the following:

(2) Wholesale vs. Retail

For purposes of classifying stores, the term wholesale is defined as the selling of merchandise to the following:

  1. Retailers; 
  2. Manufacturers, builders, or contractors; 
  3. Industrial, agricultural, commercial, governmental, institutional, or professional users; 
  4. Other wholesalers; or 
  5. Firms acting as agents in buying merchandise for or selling merchandise to such persons or companies as those previously listed.

For purposes of classifying stores, the term retail is defined as the selling of merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption or use. Warehouse operations incidental to the retail operations of the employer shall be assigned to the retail classifications.

A store that sells merchandise on both a wholesale and a retail basis shall be assigned to the appropriate store classification, depending upon whether the gross receipts are principally (more than 50%) from wholesale or retail sales.

The applicable store classification includes delivery and pick-up of merchandise in connection with rental or sales operations. Some party supply rental stores perform additional services such as decorating, tent erection, and dance floor installation; these operations are separately classified as 9529(2), Decorating – interior or exterior, 9529(3) Tent – erection, removal or repair, and 5146(1), Cabinet or Fixtures, respectively.
To learn more about the classifications covered in this e-newsletter, use the Classification Search tool on To learn more about special industry classification procedures, consult Part 3, Section IV, Special Industry Classification Procedures, of the USRP.

Related Resources

Classification Code Listings
Online Guide to Workers’ Compensation: The Standard Classification System

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