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. 

Steps

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.
  • Size of the space your business will occupy. 
  • If this is a new building, or a new space, you will need to provide the property's certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion issued by the City's building department, along with certified plans showing the layout of the space where the business will operate. For information on how to obtain a certificate of completion or certificate of occupancy please contact the building department at (305) 416-1100.
  • If this is a home office, you will need to provide a city-certified floor plan of the space you will be using. Click here to obtain a floor plan from the building records request.

Apply for your Certificate of Use

If you'd like to apply in-person, you can do so at our zoning office or at any NET office IF your business is the same prior use (i.e. you're opening a restaurant in a space that was previously a restaurant. If you plan on going to a NET office to apply, we recommend you call them beforehand to inquire about usage).

If you'd like to apply online, below, you will be connected to MiamiBiz.  Please follow these tips:

  • For first time users, please 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 of Miamibiz to continue processing your request. 
  • Once you have logged into MiamiBiz.com, be sure to select "apply for certificate of use". 

NOTE: If you will be using a home office, you will be applying for an "accessory of use" rather than a certificate of use. Be sure to click "home office" on the application form, and you will be directed through the proper steps.

Tip: If you are able to print out the application when you are done, it will save you time later.  

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

Conduct a Meeting with a City Zoning Specialist

As soon as you have completed your application, you will need to visit the City's Zoning department at 444 SW 2 Avenue -2nd Floor to have your application verified. Visit:

Miami Riverside Center (MRC)
444 SW 2nd Ave - 2nd Floor
Monday-Friday, 8am -11am

After a zoning specialist verifies compliance of your application with the City's zoning requirements, you will be given a printed copy of your application including an inspection sign-off sheet (see below) that you will submit back to us after your inspections are complete.  

You may be instructed that you need a warrant or a waiver

NOTE: This check-list will walk you through the next steps, be sure to follow accordingly. 

Pay for your Application

After you visit the zoning department, you will be given an invoice and instructions to pay for your application (this can be done online or in-person at the fourth floor cashier).

Your inspections will not occur (and your application will not be approved) until payment has been received. 

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.

Request 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).  Use your inspection sign-off sheet to reflect completion. 

Your printed application will include directions for requesting inspections. All CUs require the following inspections: 

  • Division of Environmental Resource Management (DERM): Take documents provided to you from our zoning office, and visit the County DERM Office at 701 NW 1 CT to obtain their approval
  • Fire + Code Enforcement Departments: Schedule inspections with the Fire department and Code Enforcement Department by calling the phone number included in the application documents provided by the zoning office. 

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 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

Bring your finalized package with all necessary sign-offs (inspections/approvals from health department, Code, Fire, etc.) back to the zoning office at 444 SW 2 Avenue 4th Floor to request final CU approval.

If all appropriate documents are included, your application will be approved in-person and you will be given a copy of your CU in order to apply for a business tax receipt (the next step to setting up a business).  

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 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.