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Licenses to open a business in Florida


Before your company starts operating you need to obtain the licenses to open a business in Florida. In Hispanic Entrepreneurs We summarize which ones you need and where to go to get them. Not processing them beforehand can lead to fines and penalties that are best avoided.

Hispanic Entrepreneurs Magazine

Requirements for obtaining a business license in Florida

The state of Florida requires certain businesses and occupations to obtain a business license before opening business. In the same way, they can be a requirement of the government of the city and the county in which it will operate. Therefore, it is necessary to know the licenses, permits and registrations that you must process at each level.

The commercial license is processed before the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. It's one of the requirements to open a business in Miami or in any other city in the state and what it does is grant you the right to operate the business in the location you have chosen.

To obtain this license, some of the factors evaluated by the corresponding agencies are that it can operate in the area where it wants to open the business, and that the premises comply with the regulations corresponding to the activity that it is going to carry out.

Among the requirements you must meet to get a business license are:

  • Obtain the EIN, which is the Employer Identification number.
  • Apply for the Certificate of Use and Occupancy, sometimes you will need the zoning permit.
  • Get a professional license.
  • For some companies and professions an official certification is required.

The business license is granted to a business or business operation; whereas professional license refers to a paid occupation that involves prolonged training and official qualification.

Professional license

There are states that regulate certain professions and a license is required in order to provide services to clients.

This is also one of the types of licenses for a business, since there are cases in which the company must have a licensed professional to obtain the business license. For example, if you are going to open a latin hair salon, there must be a licensed hairdresser on staff.

However, there are companies that do not need to obtain a business license, but do need to have a licensed professional on staff. To verify what the requirements are for your business, check the information with the Department of Commerce.

The requirements and the prior process that must be followed to obtain an occupational license depend on the type of business. In some cases it will be a complex process and the interested party must go to several instances before obtaining this license.

The cost of the license also varies according to the business. And there are cases in which it depends on the number of clients they are authorized to serve.

Both with the commercial license, as with the occupational license, you have to be aware of its expiration and request its renewal on time. Failure to do so may result in a fine. And, depending on the time that passes it may mean that you must get a new one.

Exempt companies

Some companies do not require a business or professional license to operate in Florida. However, they must fulfill other responsibilities. For example, obtain the EIN, register the company with the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury.

Check local requirements

So far we have discussed the business licenses required by the state of Florida. However, counties and municipalities may also require this and other types of licenses and permits.

To get a state license, you will likely first need to get one in your city. You can get more information about this from the Florida Association of Counties, the League of Florida Cities, and the Small Business Development Center.

Make sure you have all the licenses you need to avoid problems later. If you start operating without having everything in order, you can receive fines and until the closing of the business.

Check the zoning

Choosing the location of the business is an issue that needs to be paid close attention. Some Florida counties prohibit certain activities, so it will be necessary to verify if the activity is allowed before proceeding with the process.

There are also cases where a current business operates under license, but if it passes to a new owner, the owner will not be able to operate. So there must be a prior investigation and go to the corresponding offices to understand if the business can work and thus continue with the processing of licenses.

Other licenses to open a business in Florida

Business and professional licenses are not the only licenses you need to obtain to open your business in Florida. There are others that will depend on the type of company, the activity to which it is dedicated and the place where it is located. Here are some of them:

  • Permit from the Fire Department. It applies to companies where flammable materials are handled or have facilities open to the public. In other cases, only periodic inspections will be carried out.
  • Health and safety permits. It is one of the requirements for companies where food is sold.
  • Permits poster or signs. Each city has specific regulations on the size, location, and type of signs that can be used.
  • Sales tax licenses. It is also known as a seller's permit and must be owned by businesses that sell taxable goods and services.

Federal licenses

Among the requirements to create a business in Florida is also processing the corresponding federal licenses. These are necessary if you operate in a federally regulated industry. Some examples are the following:

  • Medicine production.
  • Alcohol and tobacco products industry.
  • Manufacture, distribution or import of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
  • Ground transportation and logistics.
  • Companies dedicated to mining and drilling.
  • Companies related to aviation, such as transport of goods, people or aeronautical maintenance.
  • Commercial fishing and wildlife.

Here's what you need to know about Florida business licensing. Verify that you meet all the requirements that your company requires before starting to operate. If it is already operating and you want to make it known, you can add it to our business directory.

When you have everything ready and want financing for your business, you can read about SBA loan for your business: how to get it?

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