Miami Business Solutions
· Permits and Licenses for the City of Miami
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Introduction: There are three steps to opening your new business in the City of Miami. Below follows the information that will help you start this process.

          Step 1. Choose your location
          Step 2. Apply for a Certificate of Use
          Step 3. Apply for a Business Tax Receipt


Step 1- Choose Your Location. One of the most important decisions in the process of opening your new businesses is choosing the location. It is a good idea to do some research about the zoning rules and regulations for the area you are considering. The City of Miami has a wide range of tools to help you with the process. Before you speak with a Zoning Information Specialist, you can follow these steps to learn more about the property you wish to purchase or rent for your business.
First - Visit http://maps.miamigis.com/miamizoningsite/ and you can search for the property using 3 categories.
  1. By Property Address
  2. By Folio Number
  3. By Owner Name
Second- The map will then locate your address and provide information on the following:
  1. Miami 21- Zoning Transect
  2. Property
  3. Sales and Taxes
  4. Exemptions
  5. City Info
  6. Additional Information
Third- Under the section entitled Miami 21 you will find the zoning designation for the property. Table 3 provides general guidelines to determine if the type of business you wish to open is permitted at that location .There are four designations used in the chart:
  1. 'R' Allowed by Right
  2. 'W' Allowed by Warrant: Administrative Process
  3. 'E' Allowed by Exception: Public Hearing- granted by PZAB (Planning, Zoning & Appeals Board)
  4. Boxes with no designation signify Use prohibited.

Step 2. Apply for a Certificate of Use
Certificate of Use. The City of Miami requires a Certificate of Use and a Business Tax Receipt to open a business. All Construction Permit work that may be required, must be completed, and approved before applying for a CU and BTR.

The Certificate of Use, approved by the Department of Zoning, ensures that your new business is properly zoned. When you apply for the Certificate of Use a fire and supplemental waste fee are assessed.
  • Requirements to Apply:
    • The property needs to be located within the City of Miami. Here are just a few ways to verify if your property is within the City of Miami.
      • You can call 311 and ask them if your address is located within the City of Miami.
      • If the folio number of your property begins with 01 it will most likely be with in the City of Miami.
      • You can also visit http://www.miamigov.com/GISWebPortal/pages/default.asp business e-services to search online.
  • Information Necessary to Apply:
    • Business Name
    • Address of Business, including suite or space number and zip code
    • Mailing Address (if different)
    • Business Telephone Number
    • Emergency Telephone Number
    • Business Owner or Agent
    • If the space is for office use: Sq. Ft
    • If the space is for apartments: Number of Units
    • If the space is for a restaurant: Number of Seats
  • Process of Application
    • Once you have provided the Zoning Department with the above information they will verify the following:
      • Determine whether your business is properly zoned
      • Determine whether it will be necessary to apply for other permits.
        • Will there be a change of Occupancy?
        • Will there be any changes to the interior or exterior?
      • Provide the information for all necessary Inspections
      • Determine whether any other special permits or licenses are required
    • After you meet with a Zoning Information Specialist you will need to arrange inspections with all appropriate departments. Your Zoning Information Specialist will provide guidance on this process.
    • Once you have passed all the necessary inspections you will need to return the inspection card to the Zoning Department; in order, to obtain a Certificate of Use number, a temporary license. Your actual license will be mailed.
To apply visit the City of Miami Administration Building, located at 444 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Zoning Department, 4th Floor, Corridor C. or any City NET Offices. To find the NET office nearest you can call 311 or visit http://www.miamigov.com/NETS/pages/default.asp.

Step 3. Apply for a Business Tax Receipt
Business Tax Receipt. The City of Miami also requires anyone who plans on engaging in a business, profession, or occupation (including any street vendors) to apply for a Business Tax Receipt.
  • Requirements to Apply:
    • Valid Certificate of Use approved by the Department of Planning and Zoning
    • Certain businesses may require a background check or special application forms
    • Any State Licenses or Permits required for your business must be presented.
    • Corporations or a business applying under a fictitious name must be properly registered with the State of Florida.
  • Necessary Documents:
    • A Florida Driver's License or similar identification
    • Federal Employee Number (EIN) and/or copy of the Social Security Card of the business/individual
    • Sales Tax number if applicable
    • The information for 3 emergency contacts
    • All documents pertaining to the requirements to apply (State Licenses, Certificate of Use etc)
  • Home Based Businesses
    • Will need to provide an Accessory of Use Certificate from the Department of Planning and Zoning
  • State Licensed Professions
    • A Business Tax Receipt will be required for each with a state License, except Pharmacists.
  • Where to Apply
    • At the City of Miami Administration Building, located at 444 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Finance Department, 6th Floor, north side of floor for Business Tax Receipt. You may also go to any of the City NET Offices. To find the NET office nearest you can call 311 or visit http://www.miamigov.com/NETS/pages/default.asp.
  • Renewing Your Business Tax Receipt
    • All Business Tax Receipts expire on September 30th. All paperwork needs to be mailed at least 60 days prior to expiration. All businesses who do not renew on time will be subject to a 10% delinquency penalty for the month of October and 5% for each subsequent month, provided the delinquency does not exceed 25% of the Business Tax Receipt fee.
    • Business Tax Receipts are printed once a week and mailed within 3 days after printing.
NOTE: Although the City provides the latest information/requirements on a constant basis, changes may occur from time-to-time, thus, please contact the City to verify current information.

All information regarding Certificate of Use and Business Tax Receipt may be obtained in the City Code: Chapter 31 for Business Tax Receipt and Chapter 4 for Certificate of Use.


Zoning Department The City of Miami Office of Zoning provides policy guidance for the future development of the City of Miami by interpreting and administering the Zoning Ordinance and other City, County, State, and Federal regulations pertaining to the land development regulations for the construction of buildings in the review of building plans. To learn more about the City of Miami's zoning visit http://www.miamigov.com/zoning/pages/default.asp.

Planning Department The Planning Department provides guidance for the future development of the City of Miami by preparing neighborhood plans; administering, interpreting, and preparing amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and the Miami Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan; preparing recommendations to and administering the Zoning Board, Planning Advisory Board, Historic and Environmental Preservation Board, and other hearing boards; and collecting and analyzing demographic, physical, social, and economic data on the City of Miami. To learn more about the City of Miami's planning visit www.miamigov.com/planning/.

Building Department. If you will be doing any remodeling of a store or location for your business check with the Department of Building and Neighborhood Compliance. To learn more visit http://www.miamigov.com/Building/pages/FAQs/Faqs.asp.

Finance Department. Once you have completed all the necessary steps to establishing your business you will need to apply for a Business Tax Receipt at the City of Miami's Finance Department. http://www.miamigov.com/finance/pages/default.asp

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