Get a Certificate of Use (CU)

Are you opening a new business, moving your existing business, or got cited for not having a proper CU in the City of Miami? The City requires a Certificate of Use to ensure that all business are operating legally, safely, and honor the City's vision for that neighborhood. 

TIP: Your CU Application includes your Fire Safety Permit. 

Steps

Confirm Eligibility

We have a great new tool that can help you confirm zoning uses for your space. If you have any confusion, check your zoning. 

Gather Your Information

You will need multiple documents in order to apply for a CU.  Any applications without the necessary documents will be delayed and/or rejected. 

  • Name of business as it's recorded with The Florida Division of Corporations (if this is a corporation). If you have not done this yet, you may register here. If your legal name and your business name are the same, you do not need to register with SunBiz. NOTE*If you want to use a fictitious name, you still need to have the name registered with Florida Department of State.
  • Exact address of business including suite numbers if applicable and size of the space your business will occupy. 
  • If you have a new space or new construction, please be sure you have obtained your certificate of occupancy/certificate of completion. If you have your building or permit numbers on-hand, this will speed up the process of getting your CU.
  • If your business has an assembly area for 50 or more occupants (restaurants, bars, clubs, places of worship, etc.), you should Get an Occupant Load Certificate

Apply for your Certificate of Use

You must apply online through eStart.  Please follow these tips:

  • For first time users, create an account using your email address and proceed to register your business. You will receive a verification email with a link to activate your account.
  • Once your account is activated, click the log in button on the main page and continue processing your request. 

NOTE: If you will be using a home office, you will be applying for an "accessory of use" rather than a certificate of use. At the end of your application, be sure to make this selection. 
Tip: This step-by-step window will remain open after you click the button below, please refer back to it for instructions. 

 Apply for Certificate of Use

NOTE: This process will also cover the application for your Business Tax Receipt.  But, the BTR has additional follow-up steps. Please view this page once you're CU is approved to complete the whole process. 

Await Response from City

After you complete your application, The City will contact you within three business days to discuss the details of your application.

Pay and Schedule Inspections 

Following your discussion with The City and completion of any open tasks, you will be emailed an invoice as well as an inspection sheet with instructions on how to schedule inspections. Pay your invoice, then schedule inspections. 

Pay Online Now

TIP:  While Fire and Code Enforcement Inspection fees are included in the invoice, other inspections not issued by the City of Miami are subject to additional fees by the inspecting agency.

Complete Inspections

IMPORTANT: You must complete your inspections within 90 working days of your application start date (the above online portion), or you will have to start over (and pay again).  

The email from The City will include directions for requesting inspections. All CUs require the following inspections: 

  • Division of Environmental Resource Management (DERM): To have your application reviewed by DERM, you must email your completed application (the attachment that was sent from The City of Miami) to dermplanreview@miamidade.gov. DERM will then contact you directly. 
  • Fire + Code Enforcement Departments: Schedule inspections with the Fire department and Code Enforcement Department by calling 311. If you have not heard back about your fire inspection after five working days, please emailFPB@miamigov.com to escalate your request. 

Request Inspections

Get Additional Inspections, if Required

  • Restaurants or businesses with food preparation/service also require an inspection from the Health Department. If this step is deemed necessary, the contact information will be provided via email in your application package.
  • The following business types will require Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) approval. Information can be located here:
    • Food Service Establishments: Ex. Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Cafeterias, and any establishment which handles food.
    • Multifamily/Lodging Structures:  Ex. Apartments with five or more units, Bed and Breakfast, Hotels, Motels, Inns.
  • Grocery Stores, Mini-markets, any store selling packed-manufactured food will require Department of Agriculture approval. 

Obtain Zoning Approval

Once you have passed your required inspections, please email your zoning information specialist directly for final review. You will have their information from the initial response to your application.

If all appropriate documents are included, your application will be approved. You will receive notice of approval via email, with directions on how to print and post your CU.

NOTE: You still need to complete your business tax receipt application/process. 

Renew Certificate of Use (CU)

  • Currently, your CU will last until the end of the fiscal year (October 1st-September 30th) in which you applied. So, if you got your CU in June, you'll have to renew it that October. 
  • Renewal is easy: Simply keep an eye out for an invoice from our finance department and pay the invoice by September 30th to avoid late fees.
  • NOTE: If you do not receive an email, you may have applied before 2/2021 and provided the wrong email. You need to update your information in our old application, MiamiBiz, and include your business email. 
  • NOTE: Your CU Renewal also covers your Fire Safety Permit renewal. 

Pay Online Here