How Do I:??

Miami Business License, Zoning and Permits

Before you can begin operating a business in Miami, you must go through the permitting process. Following the steps below in order will hopefully prevent you from running back and forth between City and County offices because you lacked the necessary paperwork.

Step 1: Obtain a Fictitious Business Name
If you are planning to call your business by a name other than your own, i.e. Tom's Tomatoes, you must first obtain a fictitious business name from the Florida Department of State. Do this first; you will need this name to apply for your business license.

How to apply:

(1) Look up the name you want to use on the state's website, http://www.sunbiz.com/. The name must not be currently taken by another business in the state of Florida.

(2) If no one else has the rights to the name, you may apply for it online or call 850-488-9000 for more information.

Cost of a Fictitous Business Name: $50 for five years. After five years you must reapply for the name.

Step 2: Obtain a Zoning and Use Permit

Once you have picked out your fictitious business name and chosen where you want your business located, you should apply for a zoning and use permit. You will need to submit the following information to apply:

  • Your name
  • the name and address of your business
  • square footage of the business
  • the type of business (the zoning department will give you a choice of classifications)
  • if your business is incorporated, the name of an officer of the corporation

Where to apply for a zoning permit:

If your business is in:

Unincorporated Miami-Dade county only - You must apply for a Certificate of Use and Occupancy at the Miami-Dade County zoning department

Once your zoning permit is approved you may apply for an occupational (business) license. You must have the following documents:

  • your zoning ("use and occupancy") permit
  • your ficitious business name, if any
  • your articles of incorporation, if any

Hours and Location: 11805 sw 26th st. 7:30-4:30 p.m.
Call: 786-315-2666 or 305-375-1806.

Renewal Schedule: certificate of use permits are valid from January 1 thru December 31 and renewable on the following January 1.

! IMPORTANT! If you obtain your permit in October you must renew your permit on January 1 of the following year even though your permit lasted only two months. It is therefore best to obtain your permit as soon after January 1 as possible.

Miami or Hialeah:

You must first apply for a zoning permit in that city. Cost varies depending on the type of business and square footage.

In addition, you may be liable for other permits and inspections if your business is a liquor store, auto repair shop, restaurant or manufacturing facility. Some require affidavits. Call the zoning office in your city:

Miami - Department of Planning and Zoning 305-416-1499

Hialeah Zoning Department - 501 Palm Avenue, Hialeah

In Hialeah the process is reversed; first you must apply for your occupational license on the 1st floor, and then you will be directed to the zoning department on the second floor to apply for your zoning permit.

When you apply for your occupational license you will need the following items:

  • your articles of incorporation, if any
  • the address of your business
  • a blank check (the amount of your application fee will depend on the type and square footage of your business. The clerk will tell you the amount of your fee at the time you apply.)

After you apply for both your zoning permit and your occupational license and are approved, you will receive both permits in the mail.

(3) Obtain your occupational license

In the Miami area, a business license is known as an "occupational license."

! IMPORTANT! If your business is located in a city like Miami or Hialeah, you will need TWO occupational licenses: one from the city and one from Miami-Dade county. If your business is located in unincorporated Miami-Dade county, you will only need ONE license.

Documents you will need:

  • social security card or federal id card
  • a copy of your fictitious business name or corporate papers
  • The address of your business

Occupational licenses are valid from October 1 thru September 30. You must renew your license by October 1 even if it did not last an entire year.

Miami-Dade County Hours & location: 8:30-4:30 M-F excluding holidays; 140 West Flagler St. Rm. 1407

Miami-Dade County Cost: varies depending on the type of business. For a retail establishment, the cost is $45 for businesses located in incorporated Miami Dade County, $35 for those in unincorporated Miami-Dade county.

City of Miami information:
Hours and Location: 444 SW 2nd St., 6th fl. 8-5 pm M-F
call 305/416-1937 for more information.

Hialeah information: Call 305-883-5691, 501 Palm Avenue. See above for the special permitting process in Hialeah.


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