Apply For A Business License Tallahassee, Florida

Are you opening a business in Tallahassee, Florida?

As of June 30th, 2017, obtaining a Business Tax Certificate is no longer required for businesses that are located or operate in the city of Tallahassee. Although there is no Business Tax Certificate required, you may still need to contact some State or Federal departments before operating your business. Information on who to contact for your business can be found on the City of Tallahassee website.

Will you need zoning approval in Tallahassee?

It is important that your Tallahassee business is located in the appropriate zone. To ensure that you have zoning approval, you will need to file a zoning notice for the Growth Management Department.  They can be reached at (850) 891-7100 for inquiries. It is advised that you contact them before you apply for a business tax receipt, or contact the State and Feederal departments according to your business, to expedite the process of zoning your business location and being issued your business tax receipt. The notice for zoning requests information regarding the physical location of your business, the mailing address, your name, home address, and information on your business activities. You will need to declare the type of business you plan to conduct and the prior use of your business location. Be sure to read the statement included in the application which verifies that you understand that being issued a business tax receipt and paying your business taxes does not guarantee that you are in compliance with all local, state, and federal codes and requirements for operating a business. Your signature is needed, as well as the date and a printed name.

Is it acceptable to operate a home-based business in Tallahassee?


Home businesses are acceptable in Tallahassee if certain criteria are met such as not having any outward evidence that there is a business taking place inside your residence. You will need to adhere to any neighborhood and HOA covenants regarding operating a home business. In addition, you will need to complete a statement of home occupational owner which states that you have received and have read and understand the city ordinance regarding home occupations. 

Do you have all the information needed to complete your Tallahassee business tax certificate (business license) application?

The application for a business tax certificate is a two-page document that asks for information regarding you as the owner of your business as well as your business activities. You will need to choose a classification from the classification section, which includes categories such as bankers, ATM machines, manufacturing, fortune telling, vending machines, etc. You will need to include your business name (and a fictitious name certificate if it applies to your business), your business mailing and physical address, and any phone numbers associated with your business. 

Provide a name and all contact information for yourself and any additional owners of your business. If you have been issued a state business license for a profession (such as a beautician, a doctor, etc.) you will need to include your state license number. If you plan to hire even one employee, you will need to contact the IRS for a FEIN (federal employer’s ID number). If you are the sole employee for your entire business, you will need to provide your social security number. Be sure that you include the type of ownership your business is under, whether it is part of a professional association, a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, or whether you own it individually. The prior use of your business location and the date that your business location was last used will need to be given. If it applies to your business, you will need to give the number of employees you plan to hire, the number of seats in your restaurant, rental units, amusement machines, hoses and pumps, etc. 

You need to estimate the total value of your inventory if you are planning to sell wholesale or retail as part of your business. You will need to provide your signature as a declaration that you understand the information that you provided must be true and accurate and that you must abide by all regulations and codes associated with operating a business in Tallahassee. You will also sign to verify that your social security number may be released to other commercial agencies as required by law. When you have completed your business tax certificate application, you may return it to the Tallahassee Revenue Division. If you have questions or need assistance in completing your application, contact them by calling (850) 488-6800.

What costs should you expect to incur?

Your business tax certificate will be based on the type of business classification that your business falls under. You will need to contact the Revenue Department to discuss your business classification and the taxes and fees you will be expected to pay. Your business tax certificate expires on September 30 annually and will need to be paid prior to expiration. You will need to file a renewal by July 15 to declare that you are still in business and are planning to continue your business for another year. 

Do you have other questions?

Visit the Office of the Treasurer-Clerk at City Hall, 300 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301 or call (850) 891-8130. You can also visit the city website.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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