Step 6: Obtain Licenses and Permits
Business Licenses & Permits
Virtually every business needs some form of license or permit to operate legally. However, licensing and permit requirements vary depending on the type of business you are operating, where it’s located, and what government rules apply. The Office of Economic Growth will assist and point you in the direction you may need to go. Another resource you may want to tap into is the Pasco Enterprise Network in addition to the information on these pages.
Business Tax Receipts (formerly known as occupational licenses) are required if you are operating a business in the County or in the Cities withing Pasco County. The Tax Collector's Office is the proper office to file for your business tax receipt. This can be done in person or online.
Building permits are also necessary for improvements made to the property you are going to occupy for your business. If in doubt if something needs a permit, please contact our Central Permitting Office prior to starting any work on your property.Many of our permitting services are now online or are offered as part of our walk-through permitting services. For more information about online permitting please review this useful guide (PDF).
Don't forget to make sure you are properly zoned to operate your business. Team members in Planning and Zoning will be able to assist you and can be reached by dialing 727-847-2411.
Pasco County Contractors' Licenses
If you are going in the construction business and are considered a contractor, Pasco County requires application be made and approved through our Building Construction Services in addition to the State of Florida requirements.
In general the term "contractor" means the person who is qualified for, and shall only be responsible for, the project contracted for and means, except as exempted in this part, the person who, for compensation, undertakes to, submits a bid to, or does himself or herself or by others construct, repair, alter, remodel, add to, demolish, subtract from, or improve any building or structure, including related improvements to real estate, for others or for resale to others; and whose job scope is substantially similar to the job scope described at My Florida License.
Pasco County requires application be made and approved for the following types of contracting:
GROUP I: 1. General Contractor; 2. Building Contractor; 3. Residential Contractor; 4. Electrical Contractor; 5. Roofing Contractor; 6. Class A Air-Conditioning Contractor; 7. Class B Air-Conditioning Contractor; 8. Mechanical Contractor; 9. Commercial Pool/Spa Contractor; 10. Residential Pool/Spa Contractor; 11. Swimming Pool/Spa Servicing Contractor; 12. Plumbing Contractor; and 13. Sheet Metal Contractor.
GROUP II: 14. Aluminum Contractor, Structural; 15. Aluminum Specialty Contractor; 16. Concrete Contractor; 17. Masonry Contractor; 18. Sign Contractor, Electrical; 19. Sign Contractor, Non-Electrical; 20. Structural Steel Contractor; 21. Irrigation Sprinkler Contractor 22. Solar Energy Installation Contractor; 23. Drywall Contractor; 24. Tile, Marble, and Terrazzo Contractor; 25. Insulation Contractor; 26. Carpentry Contractor; 27. Finish Carpentry Contractor 28. Plastering and Stucco Contractor; 29. Glass and Glazing Contractor; 30. Hurricane Protection Contractor; 31. Garage Door Contractor; 32. Marine Contractor; 33. Painting Contractor; and 34. Demolition Contractor.
State of Florida Licenses
Virtually every business needs some form of license or permit to operate legally. However, licensing and permit requirements vary depending on the type of business you are operating, where it’s located, and what government rules apply. Review the following to identify the specific licenses or permits your business may need.
To begin the application process, please visit: My Florida License Application
If your business is involved in activities supervised and regulated by a federal agency – such as selling alcohol, firearms, commercial fishing, etc. – then you may need to obtain a federal license or permit. Here is a brief list of business activities that require these forms and information on how to apply.
If you import or transport animals, animal products, biologics, biotechnology or plants across state lines, you’ll need to apply for a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
If you manufacture, wholesale, import, or sell alcoholic beverages at a retail location, you will need to register your business and obtain certain federal permits (for tax purposes) with the U.S. Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The website has a number of online tools that make this process straightforward. If you are just starting a business in this trade, start by reading the TTB’s New Visitors Guide which offers helpful information for small business owners.
Remember, you will also need to contact your local Alcohol Beverage Control Board for local alcohol business permit and licensing information as well as Zoning to obtain the Conditional Use Permit to sell alcoholic beverages.
Does your business involve the operation of aircraft; the transportation of goods or people via air; or aircraft maintenance? If so, you’ll need to apply for one or more of the following licenses and certificates from the Federal Aviation Administration:
- FAA Licenses and Certificates - Get licensing information for airmen, aircraft, airports, airlines and medical aviation services.
- Pilot Licenses and Training Requirements
- Aircraft Mechanic Licenses
Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
Businesses who manufacture, deal and import firearms, ammunitions and explosives must comply with the Gun Control Act’s licensing requirements. The Act is administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Refer to the following resources from the ATF to make sure your business is properly licensed:
- Firearms Industry Guide – Includes information on obtaining and renewing a federal firearms license, importing firearms and ammunition and more.
- Explosives Industry Guide – Find out how to get a federal explosives license.
- How to Become a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL)
- How to Become a Federal Explosives Licensee (FEL)
Fish and Wildlife
If your business is engaged in any wildlife related activity, including the import/export of wildlife and derivative products, must obtain an appropriate permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Commercial fishing businesses are required to obtain a license for fishing activities from the NOAA Fisheries Service. This guide includes quick links to permit applications and information.
If you provide ocean transportation or facilitate the shipment of cargo by sea, you’ll need to apply for a license from the Federal Maritime Commission.
Mining and Drilling
Businesses involved in the drilling for natural gas, oil or other mineral resources on federal lands may be required to obtain a drilling permit from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly the Minerals Management Service).
Producers of commercial nuclear energy and fuel cycle facilities as well as businesses involved in the distribution and disposal of nuclear materials must apply for a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Radio and Television Broadcasting
If your business broadcasts information by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable, you may be required to obtain a license from The Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Transportation and Logistics
If you operate an oversize or overweight vehicle, you’ll need to abide by the U.S. Department of Transportation offers guidelines on maximum weight. Permits for oversize / overweight vehicles are issued by your state government. View agency contact information.