Business Tax Receipt Information

Application information

You must pay a tax to operate any business within city limits. A business tax receipt is proof of payment and it is required before a business opens. Our website has a few tips to help you get a business tax receipt.

Renewals

All Business Tax Receipts expire September 30. Invoices will be emailed by July 1 (if you opted out of email you will receive an invoice in the mail during the week of July 1.) See our Permit Payment Guide for payment instructions.
 
Payment is due no later than October 1. Each business is given an option of paying later with a delinquency penalty.

 

October

10%

November

15%

December

20%

January

25%

February 1st or later

Additional late-payment penalty of $250

 

Changes

Changes or transfers for a new business owner, location, and/or name will require the following items:

  • Completed business tax application
  • Original business tax receipt
  • Proof of business name from Sunbiz.org
  • Copy of state license with a new business name/owner/and or address
  • Evidence of the sale *for new owners

A 10% transfer fee of the business tax receipt fee (excluding administrative fee and penalties) but not less than $3 or more than $25 will be applied.

If the original business tax receipt is not returned a new case will be created and a full fee will be charged based on the start date of the new business.  The same applies for new owners unable to provide evidence of the sale.

Closing your business: Submit your request here or email businesstax@orlando.gov  and include your business tax receipt number (BUS), Business name with the Subject: CLOSE BTR 

Please allow 5 business days to update the application status in our system which you can verify here.

Proration

Business Tax Receipt fees for businesses starting on or after January 1st and before August 1st are reduced based on the month the business starts:

January

10%

February

20%

March

30%

April

40%

May

50%

June

60%

July

70%

 

This is in addition to a $15 CoU fee and $5 administrative fee and any penalties that may apply. Businesses starting on or after August 1st shall pay next year’s fee and be issued next year’s Business Tax Receipt. Prorated Business Tax Receipts are nonrefundable.

Inspection Information

Often a prospective business site has deficiencies which must be corrected in order to meet city, county or state requirements. The general nature of the improvements that may be required include building structures, electrical wiring, plumbing, doorways, fire protection, drainage, sidewalk, sanitation, food handling, parking areas, landscaping, sign revisions, traffic hazards and other items related to a specific business. Below is a list of agencies and their phone numbers that should be checked concerning code requirements or regulations before starting a business operation at any location.

City of Orlando

  • Business Tax: 407.246.2204
  • Customer Service: 407.246.2271
  • Code Enforcement: 407.246.2686

Orange County 

  • Business Tax: 407.434.0312

State Agencies

Annual Declaration

To ensure business license information is up to date a declaration is emailed each year in April. If you opted out of email, the declaration will be mailed. All businesses, other than professionals, must complete and return the declaration no later than June 1. Failure to return the declaration by June 1 will result in a 25% penalty. This penalty will be added to next year’s business tax receipt fees and is in addition to any delinquent or late-payment penalties. 

For assistance with confirming the emailed declaration via the Digital City Hall portal, click on the Digital City Hall Guide.

Peddlers

For requirements on food carts, lunch and food trucks click here.

Home Occupation

The City of Orlando allows some occupations to operate from a home when certain criteria are met.

  • All home occupations shall be located within the principal building which is the bona fide residence of the principal practitioner, an accessory garage or other accessory structure.  
  • The employees of the business who work at the dwelling unit must also reside there, except that up to a total of two employees or independent contractors who do not reside at the dwelling unit may work at the business. The business may have additional remote employees who do not work at the dwelling unit. 
  • No alterations shall be made to the external appearance of any principal or accessory structures or of the building site which change the residential character thereof. 
  • No home occupation shall generate vehicular traffic in excess of two vehicles concurrently nor more than ten vehicles per day. 
  • No merchandise shall be displayed or sold on the premises except articles made on the premises. No outside display of merchandise or outside storage of equipment or materials shall be permitted. 
  • No home occupation may occupy more than 25% of the gross habitable floor area of any one story of the dwelling unit, and in no event a total of more than 500 square feet. 
  • Retail transactions associated with the home occupation may be conducted only in the principal structure and not within any accessory structure. 
  • No home occupation may create noise, vibration, heat, smoke, glare, fumes, or noxious odors in excess of those normally expected at a similar dwelling unit where no business is conducted. No home occupation may use, store, or dispose of any corrosive, combustible, or other hazardous or flammable materials or liquids in excess of those normally expected at a similar dwelling unit where no business is conducted. 
  • Wherever the occupant undertaking a home occupation is not the owner of the premises, the property owner and/or agent must give notarized written approval for the home occupation. 
  • Signage must conform to the regulations for signage in residential districts. 
  • Accessibility shall be designed in accordance with the Florida Building Code, as applicable. 

    The following is required to obtain a business tax receipt for home occupation:

  • Completed business tax receipt application
  • Completed home occupation application
  • Unless you are the homeowner, attach a notarized letter of approval for the home occupation from the property owner or property manager. Check with your homeowner’s association for any private deed restrictions that may prohibit you from having a business in your home.
  • Provide a sketch or drawing of the floor plan of your home showing the dimensions of each room and of the total home. Label the rooms and identify the area to be used for the home occupation.
  • Submit a completed City of Orlando Business Tax Application
  • In addition to the City Business Tax fee, there is a $50 home occupation processing fee.

Certificate of Use

A CoU is a type of "zoning permit". It assures the business owner their use is allowed in the zoning district in which the business operates. The city requires a Certificate of Use in conjunction with a Business Tax Receipt to ensure that a business is allowed to operate in the zoning district where it is located. Click here for detailed information.

Fee Exemptions

The City of Orlando provides fee exemptions for qualifying business owners. Click here for detailed information.

FAQ

Do I need to register a business name? 

The registration of a business name is required if you use or advertise as any Business name other than your Full Legal Name. If you choose to use only your first name, last name, nickname, initials, or any alternate Business name you must register this name with the state at www.sunbiz.org

Do I need a Business Tax Receipt to sell at a Farmers market, mobile business or work from home? 

Yes. Per Chapter 36 of the City of Orlando Municipal Code/205 FL state statue, all businesses must register with the Local Business Tax Department regardless of size of business or service provided. 

How do I get a Federal ID number or sales tax number? 

FEID# - Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov

Sales Tax # - Visit the Florida Department of Revenue website at  www.myflorida.com/dor.

How much does a Local Business Tax Receipt cost? 

Fees are based on variables such as square footage, number of workers, or cost of inventory. 

How do I close my Business Tax Receipt 

Submit your request here or email businesstax@orlando.gov with your business tax receipt number (BUS), Business name and the Subject: CLOSE BTR. 

Can I add business types of business or service on an existing business tax receipt?

No, business tax receipts can only me changed if there is a change in address, business name/owner. If there is a new business type or service a new business tax will need to be obtained.  

If I receive a Code Enforcement Notice, am I still required to attend the hearing if I renew online but don't have business tax receipt in hand?

If you have not received your physical business tax receipt, verify your application status here by entering your BUS number in the Permit Number field. If the application status has not been updated email businesstax@orlando.gov and cc’ your code enforcement officer for a status update.  

How can I apply for a resale certificate? 

This is through the Florida Department of Revenue.  

What do I need to start a business? 

  1. Verify the business is located in the Orlando city limits. 
  2. Register business name on Sunbiz.org. 
  3. Obtain any necessary state licenses, permits or certifications if applicable for the business type. 
  4. Complete a Business Tax application. 
  5. Pay and obtain a City of Orlando business tax receipt (renewed yearly by Oct 1st). 
  6. Obtain an Orange County business tax receipt (renewed yearly by Oct 1st).

Is my business regulated by the state and if so by what department?

This is dependent on the business type. Contact DBPR or the Department of Agriculture for additional information. 

What are business tax receipt fees based on?

Fees are based on variable information such as square footage, number of employees, or annual inventory. Please reference Chapter 36 of the City of Orlando Municipal Code for details.  

Can I pay for both my COU and BTR as one online transaction? 

No, these are considered two separate cases required for your business which currently must be paid as two separate transactions. 

Can I get a BTR for my Home Occupation if prohibited by my property manager/owner?

No, a commercial location will be required. 

Can I replace my peddler sticker?

A new Business Tax Receipt application will be required.  

Can I use a PO box mailing address to be considered as being in the city for my business?

No, a PO Box is for mailing purposes only and not considered a physical location. A home address can be used if the business is located in the Orlando city limits. 

Does the City offer business incentives? 

Yes. Click here for information on incentive programs.