Starting A Business
Obtaining a Certificate of Use and Occupational License in South Florida
Before you can begin operating a business, you must go through the permitting process. Following the steps below in order will hopefully prevent you from running back and forth between City and County offices because you lacked the necessary paperwork.
STEP 1: OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF USE AND OCCUPANCY (C.U.)
What is a Certificate of Use and Occupancy?
The Certificate of Use and Occupancy is also called a “C.U.” and sometimes a Zoning Permit. Prior to occupancy of any commercial, industrial, or office location, this certificate is required. If you are doing interior remodeling or alterations that require a permit, you will need to complete the work and obtain all final inspections prior to applying for the Certificate of Use and Occupancy.
Why do I need a Certificate of Use?
The Certificate of Use and Occupancy assures you that your business is allowed in the zoning district where it is located. It also verifies that the structure you are occupying has been built for your type of business activity.
What do I need to apply for a Certificate of Use?
In order to apply for a Certificate of Use and Occupancy, the following information is necessary:
- location, address, suite or bay number (if applicable)
- name of the business
- corporation name
- corporate officer, title
- type of business
- square footage of space being occupied
- folio number of property
How do I apply for a Certificate of Use and Occupancy?
The Application for Certificate of Use is short and easy to fill out. Application can be made in person at the Zoning Permit Section. The quickest way to get your certificate is to walk the application through in person.
Click the following links to obtain the Application for Certificate of Use:
Where to apply for a Certificate of Use and Occupancy?
For Broward County:
Permitting, Licensing & Consumer Protection Division
1 North University Drive
Plantation, Florida 33324
Phone: (954) 765-4400
For Miami-Dade County:
The Miami-Dade Permitting & Inspection Center
11805 SW 26th Street (Coral Way)
Miami, Florida 33175
Phone: (786) 315-2666
STEP 2: OBTAIN A LOCAL BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT (Formerly known as an “OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE”)
What do I need to apply for a Local Business Tax Receipt?
Once your Certificate of Use and Occupancy Permit is approved, you may apply for a Local Business Tax Receipt (f/k/a Occupational License). You must have the following documents:
- Drivers license or form of picture identification
- Social security card or federal id card
- Copy of your fictitious business name or corporate papers
- Address of your business
- Copy of garbage contract (depending on type of business)
- Zoning approval (depending on type of business)
How much does a Local Business Tax Receipt cost?
The amount of the Business Tax depends on your type of business. Click the following links to determine your rate:
How do I apply for a Business Tax Receipt (a/k/a Occupational License)?
Click the following links to obtain the Application for an Occupational License:
Where do I apply for a Business Tax Receipt (a/k/a Occupational License)?
IMPORTANT: If your business is located in a City (i.e, Miami, Hialeah, or Hollywood), you will need TWO (2) Occupational Licenses -– ONE (1) from the City, and ONE (1) from the County. If your business is located in unincorporated Miami-Dade or Broward County, you will only need ONE (1) license from the County.
If your business is located in a City, you need to obtain a Business Tax Receipt from the City BEFORE obtaining one from the County.
115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room A-100
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Phone: (954) 831-4000
140 West Flagler Street, Room 101
Miami, Florida 33130
Phone: (305) 270-4949
Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm
City of Hialeah:
501 Palm Avenue
Hialeah, Florida 33010
Phone: (305) 883-5691
Hours: 8:00am – 4:00pm
City of Hollywood:
2600 Hollywood Blvd., Room 103 (first floor)
Hollywood, Florida 33020
Phone: (954) 921-3225
Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm
City of Miami:
444 SW 2nd Street, 6th Floor
Miami, Florida 33130
Phone: (305) 416-1918
Hours: 8:00am – 4:30pm
City of Tamarac:
7525 NW 88th Avenue, Room 206
Tamarac, Florida 33321
Phone: (954) 597-3530
NEWS & ARTICLES ON STARTING A BUSINESS:
The Boston Globe: