Starting a Business in the City of Miami
We are delighted that you have chosen the City of Miami to open or launch your business. Here are a few steps you may need to take before engaging with the city’s permitting process in order to obtain your local permits and licenses.
Decide what legal structure to set up: A) Sole Proprietor, B) Partnership C) Corporation (C or S) d) LLC (Limited Liability Company). Lawyers and doctors may form a Professional Association (PA). All forms can be found online at www.sunbiz.org. For additional guidance, speak with your attorney or accountant.
If you choose to use a name other than your own or that of a corporation (if you choose to create one), then you must obtain a Fictitious Name Certification (DBA). You may also trade mark the name in the State of Florida, nationally and/or internationally. The action applies to all forms of ownerships: corporations, LLC’s, sole proprietorships and partnerships. Please note that it is NOT necessary to obtain a Fictitious Name.
Check the zoning, parking and other applicable regulations with the City of Miami Planning and Zoning Department before signing a contract for a business location. You may check the zoning for any property within the City of Miami here. Also, be sure to check with the City’s Building Department for licenses and permits which may be required for interior remodeling or renovations. In addition, there may be other requirements to obtain additional licenses and permits from Miami-Dade Fire and DERM (Department of Environmental Resources).
You may be required to obtain special permits or licenses prior to obtaining a permit to operate your business. In addition, as a new business, you may be required by the State or other entities to obtain permits or licenses. To determine the appropriate licensing department for your new business visit www.myflorida.com/dbpr. In an effort to help businesses begin construction work sooner and accelerate the plan review process, the City of Miami Building Department offers Early Start Permitting and Fire/DERM Concurrent Plan Reviews. For more information, please contact the Building Department.
Every business needs to obtain a Business Tax Receipt (Occupational License) and a Certificate of Use regardless of how small and even if it is in your home (except street peddlers). In addition, every business is also required to obtain a Miami-Dade County Occupational License. These requirements are enforced by the City of Miami Code Compliance Department.
You may apply online for various permits using our MiamiBiz application. Once you have entered your general business information, you will be given the opportunity to apply for various permits. Please note that your permit application will be sent to you via email. You must complete any additional information required, print it out and bring it to one of our processing locations. You will receive full details along with an email once you have completed the online application.
Click here to apply for a Certificate of Use, Business Tax Receipt, or other related permits (this excludes building and alarm systems).
Although you do not need an attorney to start a business, it is recommended that you seek one if need be.