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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You must also get a federal employer identification number (FEIN) from the IRS. Call 1-800-829-4933 for a FEIN application.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation: