Florida offers fertile soil for entrepreneurs willing to open a new restaurant, buy an existing one, or establish a franchise. In addition to the local population, the state receives millions of visitors who need to eat and drink during their stay.
In this article, you will the permits required to buy a restaurant in Florida.
What Permits Do I Need After Buying a Restaurant in Florida? – Taking a Closer Look
General Business License
The list of licenses and permits required to operate a restaurant in Florida begins with general business licenses. Also known as a “Business Tax Receipt,” this license will be required by the county and/or city where the business is located.
While Florida does not require a state-wide business license, most counties within state jurisdiction require companies providing goods or services to obtain a local license for tax collection purposes.
Food and Beverage Permits
Serving food and drinks legally required specific licenses. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has strict regulations for restaurants. Restaurants must for specific registration, including forms:
- DBPR HR-7007 Division of Hotels and Restaurants Application for Public Food Service Establishment License
- DBPR-7005 Division of Hotels and Restaurants Application for Plan Review
Restaurant owners seeking to serve alcoholic beverages must apply for permits issued by the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT). The requirements and cost of each license vary according to the categories, which include:
- 1APS Beer (package Sales only)
- 2APS Beer and Wine (Package Sales Only)
- 1COP Beer (Package and Consumption)
- 2COP Beer and Wine (Package and Consumption)
- 3PS Beer, Wine, and Spirits (Package Sales Only)
- 4COP Beer, Wine, and Spirits (Package and Consumption)
- 11C Beer, Wine, and Spirits (Consumption Only)
- SRX Special Restaurant License (Limitations Apply)
During this process, it is fundamental to consult with an expert licensing attorney to identify the appropriate types of licenses for your business.
After obtaining the licenses and permits required to start operations, a Florida restaurant must meet a list of tax requirements to continue operating legally. Restaurant owners must handle local tax receipts, state taxes, and federal taxes.
In addition to the taxes due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), any businesses providing taxable goods or services in Florida must apply for a seller’s permit. Also referred to as the “sales tax license,” this tax ID is required to file taxes with Florida’s Department of Revenue.
Depending on the number of individuals employed by the restaurant, the tax implications vary for each business.
Health and Safety Permits
Serving food or drinks without meeting the statutory hygiene standards is illegal in Florida. State law has strict regulations for companies dealing with perishable goods.
No restaurant can operate within state jurisdiction without passing a sanitary inspection and receiving a certificate issued by the Florida Department of Health. It is not possible to establish a restaurant on inadequate premises as well.
In addition to sanitary rules, the restaurant’s premises must be inspected and approved by building inspectors and the local fire marshal.