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How to get a restaurant license in Florida?

POR Hispanic Entrepreneurs March 31, 2021
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From Hispanic Entrepreneurs we explain how to obtain the restaurant license in Florida. The restaurant business is lucrative, but it takes effort and planning to be successful. This begins by being organized and complying with the laws imposed by the state.

Plan your catering business

The first step in opening your restaurant has to be planning, defining the style it will have and setting goals for yourself. Organize your ideas to determine the concept, evaluate the possible location, the services and the menu.

Evaluate the market and calculate how much money you need to make your dream of owning a restaurant come true. Consider all the expenses you will have, from the rental or purchase of the premises, the reforms, equipment, to the hiring of staff. Without forgetting, of course, the processing of the restaurant license in Florida.

From calculate launch cost of the company, reflects all the information in the business plan. You will need this document to request financing; although there are homeowners who decide to start with their personal savings and then invest more money as they grow. This decision will depend on the size of the restaurant you want to open and the capital you have to start.

Find out about all the procedures you must do to open the business. The process can be complicated, so getting advice from an expert in the area is a good idea.

When it comes to restaurants and food sales in Florida, you have to understand which agency you must apply for the license with.

Licensing Alternatives

  • If it is a retail business such as the sale of food in convenience stores, bakeries or prepared foods, the procedure is done before the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • In the case of restaurants, temporary food service events and most alcoholic beverage licenses, you must go to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  • Finally, the Health Department issues licenses for food service establishments in institutions, schools, etc., as well as bars where food is not prepared.

How to get a restaurant license in Florida?

As you will see, the previous step is decisive. In the case of restaurants, catering services or food trucks, a commercial license must be obtained from the Hotels and Restaurants Division of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

To get there e start a food business in Florida you must comply with a prior process. This includes registering the company with the Secretary of State and the Tax Division.

Before starting the process to obtain a food license in Florida, you must comply with the following:

  • Choose the location of the restaurant before requesting the license since this will depend on the configuration of the premises, the number of people you plan to serve, among other aspects.
  • Register with the Department of Revenue to obtain the tax registration number.
  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the United States Internal Revenue Service.
  • Next, you must submit the food service plan to the Hotels and Restaurants Division. The menu proposal will be included in this planning.
  • Depending on the type of restaurant you will have to fill out the corresponding forms and pay the fees for the procedure. If you are going to sell alcoholic beverages, you must also apply for the liquor sales license.
  • To obtain the necessary licenses and permits to open a restaurant, you must first pass the safety and sanitation inspection. This process is handled by the Health Department of the county where the restaurant will operate.

In addition to the above you have to review the specific requirements of the county. These vary from place to place. Understand how to open a restaurant in Miami it is different from Tampa, Orlando or another city. Therefore you must familiarize yourself with the rules of each place.

Insurance that the restaurant must have

Another requirement to meet to open a restaurant is to take out insurance to protect your business.

Among those you might need we find civil liability insurance that protects against damage to third parties; for example, injuries or allergic reactions.

You should also purchase worker's compensation insurance to protect employees. In addition, automobiles used for business can be insured in the event of accidents while used for employment services.

On the other hand, liquor liability insurance protects the company in the event that an intoxicated customer or employee commits a crime or gets involved in a fight.

Other policies that are helpful to the restaurant are property insurance, business owner's policy, and off-premises insurance.

Make sure you understand how to get a restaurant license in Florida before starting the process. Decide what type of business you want and review all the requirements so that you do not miss anything when you apply.

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