Do I Need a Business License in Florida?

Many industries in the State of Florida may require a license. Before starting a business in the Sunshine State, you may need to purchase a Florida business license with the appropriate agencies. Depending on the type of business you start, you may need a license from a state, city, or county agency. There is no general business license requirement in Florida, although you may need to purchase industry-specific licenses or occupational permits.Florida does not require a general business license.

However, most businesses in the state are required to request a business tax receipt. An EIN, or employer identification number, is not the same as a business license, but both are often necessary to do business in Florida. Before you get your Florida business license, the first step you need to complete is to name and form your company if you haven't already done so.Federal, state, and local government agencies that regulate business activities and services require and issue different types of licenses. Florida's system can be complicated to navigate because several state agencies license different types of businesses.

If you are discovered operating an unlicensed business when licensing is mandatory, you may be ordered to pay a large fine, face criminal charges, and be forced to close your business. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) controls the agricultural industry, gambling, oil and gas, private investigation, private security, and licensing related to food production or handling.Most companies don't need a federal business license, but some industries such as broadcasting, investment advice, and drug manufacturing do have federal regulations and licenses. Some new businesses in Florida will require a license from a federal agency before they can conduct operations. Depending on the type of business you run, the Florida government may be interested in knowing what you are selling and how much sales tax you are charging for it.

The best thing to do is to check the website of the city, town, or county in which you plan to operate your business.Florida is the fourth most populous state in the country and has numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs who obtain appropriate Florida business licenses. Your company may also need to obtain a license at the state level if it works in other fields. If you have organized your business as an LLC (or corporation), you can also choose corporate federal tax treatment with the IRS, usually such as an S corporation or a C corporation. Some companies need to obtain special licenses and permits from the state, but most only need a business tax receipt (i.e., sales tax permit).However, Florida law does require certain businesses to obtain state licenses and certifications if they expose customers to potential hazards or involve occupations where extensive training is required.

Obtaining the right licenses and permits is essential for any entrepreneur who wants to start a successful business in Florida.