Virtually every business will need at least one type of license or permit to legally operate in the state of Florida. Figuring out exactly what licenses you might need to operate in your specific region and industry can be tricky. Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need to obtain local, county, state, and/or federal business licenses. Florida’s system can be complicated to navigate because multiple state agencies license different types of businesses. You should check with local and federal agencies to ensure you obtain the appropriate licenses for operating your type of business.
Florida Local Business Licenses
The most common type of business license you will need is a business license, often called a “business tax receipt” in Florida. These licenses will be required to operate virtually any type of business and will be nearly identical in all cities and counties in Florida.
Fictitious Business Name (FBN) or Doing Business As (DBA) registration may be required or desired for your business if the name under which you do business does not match the name under which you registered the business with from the Florida Department of State.
To determine what additional business licenses and permits you may need, visit openmyfloridabusiness.gov/county-websites/ to find the correct links to building, code enforcement, licensing/permitting, planning, and zoning services. of each county.
Florida Statewide Licensing
The most common statewide license requirement in Florida is not explicitly called a sales and use license, as it may be elsewhere, but the purpose is the same. A business tax application must be submitted to the Florida Department of Revenue and is often referred to as a vendor permit. Any business selling or renting tangible property is required to obtain a vendor’s permit. You can also do it online via this form on the department’s website.
If your business is involved in the sale, manufacture, import, or distribution of alcohol or tobacco, you must apply for the appropriate license(s) from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, which regulates alcohol and tobacco. tobacco.
If the business you operate is related to public health, including medical professionals, therapists, dieticians, tattoo artists, and other similar industries, you will need to license your business with the Florida Department of Health.
Multiple Florida statewide licenses may be required to operate your business. If you are unsure whether you need a specific license or not, you should do further research by using the Sunbiz website or by checking DBPR, DACS or FDOH for license requirements.
Federal licenses and permits
The majority of small businesses in Florida will not need to obtain federal licenses or permits, but depending on the size of your business or the types of activities your business conducts, you may need to obtain a federal license . Common areas of business where you’ll likely need federal business licenses include:
- Sale, service, distribution or importation of alcohol
- Firearms, ammunition and explosives
- Fish and wildlife
- Commercial fisheries
- Maritime transport
- Mining and drilling
- Nuclear energy
- Broadcasting and television broadcasting
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