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Local Business Tax

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What is a Local Business Tax - formerly called Occupational License

The Local Business Tax is a tax for operating a business within the City limits of Sarasota.  The Local Business Tax was previously known as an Occupational License; however, the State of Florida changed the name in 2007 to Local Business Tax.  Licenses are issued by the State of Florida, not the City of Sarasota.

Local Business Tax Certificates are valid from October 1st through September 30th of the following year. One Courtesy Notice is sent in July providing the renewal amount which is due by September 30th.

 Business Tax Documents:

  1. Business Tax Application
  2. Addendum 1 - Home Based Business
  3. Addendum 1a - Home Based Business – Regulations regarding Commercial Vehicles
  4. Addendum 2 – Restaurant
  5. Addendum 2a – Outdoor restaurant regulations for seating on private property
  6. Addendum 3 – Handyman Affidavit
  7. Addendum 4 – Massage Establishment
  8. Exemption Affidavit
  9. Fee Schedule
  10. FAQ for Local Business Tax
  11. Instructions for Online Renewal Payments

Who Must Pay the Tax?

Businesses and licensed professionals operating within the City limits of Sarasota must pay a business tax.  This includes anyone doing business out of their home, if the home is located within the City limits.  A Business Tax paid for an office does not cover professionals working in that office.  Each person engaged in an occupation requiring a state license must pay a Professional Business Tax.

The Business Tax is required to be paid when the business begins operations. You will also need a Local Business Tax with Sarasota County. Contact the Sarasota County Tax Collector for more information.

Prior to Applying for the City of Sarasota Business Tax

You will need to:

  1. Register your business (corporate name and/or fictitious name) with the Division of Corporations Florida Division of Corporations
  1. Acquire a state license, if required, for your occupation.
  1. Identify a location/address for your business within the City limits. Note: Before you sign any contract or lease, we recommend contacting our zoning division – 941-263-6432 or cityzoning@sarasotafl.gov to ensure that business type is allowed in that location.A zoning review will be conducted for all new businesses operating in the City of Sarasota.This also applies when moving a business from one location to another.There will be a $50.00 charge for the zoning review.

Application Submission

  1. Complete the Business Tax Application, including the relevant supplemental information regarding your business, if any, as outlined under “Type of Business or Occupation” on the application.Please note that more than one type may apply. Applicable addendum information must also accompany the application, depending on the business type.
  2. Call to verify tax amount prior to submitting the application.
  3. Submit the application and payment with documentation (proof of registration with the Division of Corporations and a copy of your state license, if applicable).

You can submit your application & payment one of two ways:

By Mail:           City of Sarasota Local Business Tax, Annex Building 2nd Floor, 1565 1st St, Sarasota, FL  34236.  Make checks payable to City of Sarasota

In Person:        8:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday through Friday

Renewals:

A copy of your renewal notice, current copy of your Sunbiz registration, current copy of your license, if any, must accompany your payment or there will be a delay in processing your renewal.

Renewal Notices sent via regular mail are color coded for your convenience – Business tax renewals are PINK and Professional tax renewals are GREEN.  If you have BOTH a business and professional tax certificate, you will receive SEPARATE renewal notices for each.  These notices may arrive in separate envelopes.  When paying by check, you may combine your payment for both renewals; however separate tax certificates will be issued for the business and the professional.

For renewals sent via e-mail, separate e-mails are sent for the business and the professional, if applicable.  When paying by check, you may combine your payment for both renewals; however separate tax certificates will be issued for the business and the professional.

Please note: A copy of your renewal notice, current copy of your Sunbiz registration, current copy of your license, if any, must accompany your payment or there will be a delay in processing your renewal.

Questions?

Please give us a call at (941)263-6469, or email localbusinesstax@sarasotafl.gov.

Helpful Links and Additional Resources

  1. Department of Business & Professional Regulation
  2. Florida Division of Corporations
  3. http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/index.html

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