Do you own a business operating in the state of Florida? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Florida business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Florida?
There is no general business license requirement in Florida, though you may need to acquire industry-specific licenses or occupational permits.
You can learn more about Florida licensing requirements on the Department of Business & Professional Regulation website. This website allows you to search licenses by keyword, determine your licensing needs, apply, and track your application.
Occupational Licenses and Permits
Florida’s occupational licenses and permits can vary widely, from cosmetology to interior design. Depending on the exact nature of your business, you might need more than one of these permits.
Environmental Licenses and Permits
Florida also has Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) programs for any business or individual whose activities alter surface water flow. There are also various permits related to air contamination and waste. To find out if your business needs to obtain an environmental license or permit, consult the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Florida Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
Every Florida business will need to register with the Department of Revenue, though tax obligations will vary by industry and business type. However, most businesses will need to pay sales and use tax, and every corporation must pay corporate income tax.
There are dozens of industry-specific tax requirements in Florida, from alcoholic beverages to commercial rental property. You can learn more about the tax requirements for your industry on the Department of Revenue website.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Florida?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Florida you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Florida localities.
The Department of Business & Professional Regulation manages all county-level occupational license registrations, including those in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Orange, Pinellas, Duval, Lee, Polk, and Brevard counties. Consult the DBPR website for more information.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Florida, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Florida. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!