Apply for Business Licenses

Our new eStart tool has made it easy to apply for a Certificate of Use and/or Business Tax Receipt online. These are the licenses needed to open a business in The City of Miami.  Follow these steps to apply.

Steps

Step 1.Gather Your Information

Documents Required for Certificate of Use (CU) 

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. Be sure to check your zoning using our new tool. 
  • 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.

NOTE ABOUT OCCUPANT LOAD: If your business has an assembly area for 50 or more occupants (restaurants, bars, clubs, places of worship, etc.), you will require an occupant load certificate, to be posted on your property. (View Florida Fire Prevention Code).  Occupant loads are required for all interior assembly areas and enclosed exterior assembly areas. If you operate without an Occupant Load, you will receive a violation from The City. You will not pass your fire inspection until you have acquired your Occupant Load certificate, if applicable. 

Get an Occupant Load Certificate (only for businesses with assembly areas for 50 people or more)

Documents Required for Business Tax Receipt (BTR)

For a BTR, you must provide:

  • The Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) for your Business. (Your Social Security Number is acceptable if you're using your legal name as your business name.)
  • If this is for a hotel, restaurant, or convenience store, do you have the proper State of Florida Licensing?

If your BTR is State-regulated, the following are required:

  • State License for Business
  • State License for each Professional
  • Social Security Number for each Professional
  • Government-Issued Photo Identification

Step 2.Apply for your Certificate of Use (CU)/Business Tax Receipt (BTR)

You can now use the new eStart tool to apply for your CU and/or BTR.  Please follow these tips:

  • For first time users, please create an account, then submit your application. 

 Apply for Certificate of Use/BTR

Step 3.Pay Invoice

After you complete your application, The City will contact you within three business days to discuss details. Following the completion of any open tasks, you will be emailed an invoice. You must pay before proceeding. 

Pay Online Now

TIP FOR CU APPLICANTS:  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 (DERM, Miami-Dade County, etc.)

Step 4.Schedule & Complete Inspections (for CU only)

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).  

After you have paid your invoice, The City will email you 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. 

Additional Inspections May Include:

  • 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. 

Step 5.Apply with Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County has a separate application process for CU and BTR. 

View Miami-Dade County Application Portal