How To Obtain Catering License In Florida

So you're a great cook with your own catering business, and you need to know how to obtain a catering license in Florida. Follow these steps to get your catering business licensed and off the ground.

  1. First, make sure your catering business falls under the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's definition of catering. A catering business is defined as a public food service establishment where food and drink is prepared to be served elsewhere. This does not include restaurants, bakeries, personal chefs or mobile food service establishments.
  2. Contact the Occupational License, Zoning, and Building authorities. Check with the city where your catering business is located to ask for the requirements for opening a food or lodging business.
  3. Know all laws and requirements. Once these requirements are met, you must obtain a Florida sales tax number from the Department of Revenue, Sales Tax Division, which can be contacted at 1-800-352-3671.
  4. You must also get a federal employer identification number (FEIN) from the IRS. Call 1-800-829-4933 for a FEIN application.
  5. If you are opening your catering business in a location that is newly constructed, remodeled, converted or reopened, you must submit a plan for review to the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.
  6. Determine your license fees. The license fee amount is determined by several factors, but can typically be calculated online or by coordinating with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's.
  7. Fill out the application and pay the $50 application fee. Submit the application, along with your license fee, to Division of Hotels and Restaurants, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida  32399-0783. Processing of the application typically takes four to six weeks.
  8. Opening inspection. After submitting your license application and fees, contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation's at (850) 487-1395 to schedule an opening inspection.

Resources:

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation:

Catering establishments

Apply for a license

Food service fees