What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Florida?
Starting a in Florida will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a will register for in Florida.
Before applying for any licenses, the legal structure of the will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the , general partnership, , and Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Related: Comparison of Entities
Also see: Steps to Starting a Business in Florida
There is no
City Business Licenses
While there is no state business license, many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for vary depending on location and what the does. Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements.
Jacksonville / Duval – The City of Jacksonville requires all businesses operating in Jacksonville and/or Duval to obtain a City from the municipality where the is located.
Any operating out of a fixed location, including home-based businesses, will need to obtain a of Use from the .
Miami-Dade – Not all businesses in the Miami area are required to get a , however, contractors, towing businesses, locksmiths, moving businesses, swimming pool cleaners, and others are required to get a through Miami-Date .
Businesses operating out of a building in Miami-Date will need to first obtain a of Use. Additionally, businesses will need to have an annual inspection of their property and obtain a Life Safety Operating from the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue .
After obtaining the of Use, businesses can apply for the from the and Municipality.
Tampa – The City of Tampa requires businesses operating in City limits to obtain a .
Orlando – Businesses operating in Orlando’s City limits must obtain a City and . The City is available through the Orlando Permitting Services Division, and the Application is available from the Orange Collector.
A new tenant or owner of a commercial building will also need to obtain a Use with the Orange .
St. Petersburg – A operating in the St. Petersburg City limits will need to obtain a , formerly called the .
A few specific types of businesses also need to get a such as food trucks, or handyman services in Pinellas County.
Additionally, a of Occupancy is needed from the Construction and Permitting before operating out of a commercial location.
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Building & Permits
– Depending on the location of the , it’s important to verify whether the needs an occupancy or has specific regulations to follow. Depending on city requirements, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation with the ‘s building and code enforcement .
– A may be needed from the city or building and planning if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.
Signage – Some municipalities require a before adding signage.
Businesses selling products and certain services will need to register for a with the of Revenue.
Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Florida Resale in order to not pay for merchandise that is being resold to customers.
A variety of professionals in the are regulated, such as accountants, home inspectors, architects, landscapers, interior designers, and many more. Additional information and fees for regulated professions are available from the of & Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the of Agriculture and (DACS).
In addition to professional licenses, businesses in various industries such as food establishments, day cares, salvage yards, and many others also require licensing.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (or FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number). The EIN is the equivalent for a for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s .
There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.
While not a , it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for a Fictitious Name (typically called a Doing of . As, DBA, or Fictitious Name) with the
These are some of the most common licenses, but there are far too many licenses and permits for us to keep track of. Before starting your , be sure to check with City Hall, Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding licensing.
For some additional peace of mind, companies like IncFile or CorpNet can do the research and ensure you have all of the proper federal, , and local licenses to start your .